A fundamental question in developmental biology is how distinct cell fates are established and maintained through epigenetic mechanisms in multicellular organisms. Here, we report that preexisting (old) and newly synthesized (new) histones H3 and H4 are asymmetrically inherited by the distinct daughter cells during asymmetric division of Drosophila intestinal stem cells (ISCs). By contrast, in symmetrically dividing ISCs that produce two self-renewed stem cells, old and new H3 and H4 show symmetric inheritance patterns. These results indicate that asymmetric histone inheritance is tightly associated with the distinct daughter cell fates. To further understand the biological significance of this asymmetry, we express a mutant histone that compromises asymmetric histone inheritance pattern. We find increased symmetric ISC division and ISC tumors during aging under this condition. Together, our results demonstrate that asymmetric histone inheritance is important for establishing distinct cell identities in a somatic stem cell lineage, consistent with previous findings in asymmetrically dividing male germline stem cells in Drosophila . Therefore, this work sheds light on the principles of histone inheritance in regulating stem cell fate in vivo . ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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