The immortal strand hypothesis: still non-randomly segregating opinion.

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Cairns first suggested a mechanism for protecting the genomes of stem cells (SCs) from replicative errors some 40 years ago when he proposed the immortal strand hypothesis, which argued for the inheritance of a so-called immortal strand by an SC following asymmetric SC divisions. To date, the existence of immortal strands remains contentious with published evidence arguing in favour of and against the retention of an immortal strand by asymmetrically dividing SCs. The conflicting evidence is derived from a diverse array of studies on adult SC types and is predominantly based on following the fate of labelled DNA strands during asymmetric cell division events. Here, we review current data, highlighting limitations of such labelling techniques, and suggest how interpretation of such data may be improved in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
JournalBiomolecular Concepts
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2012
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