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Cell fate specification and differentiation in the adult mammalian intestine. Beumer Joep,Clevers Hans Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology Intestinal stem cells at the bottom of crypts fuel the rapid renewal of the different cell types that constitute a multitasking tissue. The intestinal epithelium facilitates selective uptake of nutrients while acting as a barrier for hostile luminal contents. Recent discoveries have revealed that the lineage plasticity of committed cells - combined with redundant sources of niche signals - enables the epithelium to efficiently repair tissue damage. New approaches such as single-cell transcriptomics and the use of organoid models have led to the identification of the signals that guide fate specification of stem cell progeny into the six intestinal cell lineages. These cell types display context-dependent functionality and can adapt to different requirements over their lifetime, as dictated by their microenvironment. These new insights into stem cell regulation and fate specification could aid the development of therapies that exploit the regenerative capacity and functionality of the gut. 10.1038/s41580-020-0278-0
Tales from the crypt: new insights into intestinal stem cells. Gehart Helmuth,Clevers Hans Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology The intestinal epithelium withstands continuous mechanical, chemical and biological insults despite its single-layered, simple epithelial structure. The crypt-villus tissue architecture in combination with rapid cell turnover enables the intestine to act both as a barrier and as the primary site of nutrient uptake. Constant tissue replenishment is fuelled by continuously dividing stem cells that reside at the bottom of crypts. These cells are nurtured and protected by specialized epithelial and mesenchymal cells, and together constitute the intestinal stem cell niche. Intestinal stem cells and early progenitor cells compete for limited niche space and, therefore, the ability to retain or regain stemness. Those cells unable to do so differentiate to one of six different mature cell types and move upwards towards the villus, where they are shed into the intestinal lumen after 3-5 days. In this Review, we discuss the signals, cell types and mechanisms that control homeostasis and regeneration in the intestinal epithelium. We investigate how the niche protects and instructs intestinal stem cells, which processes drive differentiation of mature cells and how imbalance in key signalling pathways can cause human disease. 10.1038/s41575-018-0081-y
Bmi1 is expressed in vivo in intestinal stem cells. Sangiorgi Eugenio,Capecchi Mario R Nature genetics Bmi1 plays an essential part in the self-renewal of hematopoietic and neural stem cells. To investigate its role in other adult stem cell populations, we generated a mouse expressing a tamoxifen-inducible Cre from the Bmi1 locus. We found that Bmi1 is expressed in discrete cells located near the bottom of crypts in the small intestine, predominantly four cells above the base of the crypt (+4 position). Over time, these cells proliferate, expand, self-renew and give rise to all the differentiated cell lineages of the small intestine epithelium. The induction of a stable form of beta-catenin in these cells was sufficient to rapidly generate adenomas. Moreover, ablation of Bmi1(+) cells using a Rosa26 conditional allele, expressing diphtheria toxin, led to crypt loss. These experiments identify Bmi1 as an intestinal stem cell marker in vivo. Unexpectedly, the distribution of Bmi1-expressing stem cells along the length of the small intestine suggested that mammals use more than one molecularly distinguishable adult stem cell subpopulation to maintain organ homeostasis. 10.1038/ng.165
The pan-ErbB negative regulator Lrig1 is an intestinal stem cell marker that functions as a tumor suppressor. Powell Anne E,Wang Yang,Li Yina,Poulin Emily J,Means Anna L,Washington Mary K,Higginbotham James N,Juchheim Alwin,Prasad Nripesh,Levy Shawn E,Guo Yan,Shyr Yu,Aronow Bruce J,Haigis Kevin M,Franklin Jeffrey L,Coffey Robert J Cell Lineage mapping has identified both proliferative and quiescent intestinal stem cells, but the molecular circuitry controlling stem cell quiescence is incompletely understood. By lineage mapping, we show Lrig1, a pan-ErbB inhibitor, marks predominately noncycling, long-lived stem cells that are located at the crypt base and that, upon injury, proliferate and divide to replenish damaged crypts. Transcriptome profiling of Lrig1(+) colonic stem cells differs markedly from the profiling of highly proliferative, Lgr5(+) colonic stem cells; genes upregulated in the Lrig1(+) population include those involved in cell cycle repression and response to oxidative damage. Loss of Apc in Lrig1(+) cells leads to intestinal adenomas, and genetic ablation of Lrig1 results in heightened ErbB1-3 expression and duodenal adenomas. These results shed light on the relationship between proliferative and quiescent intestinal stem cells and support a model in which intestinal stem cell quiescence is maintained by calibrated ErbB signaling with loss of a negative regulator predisposing to neoplasia. 10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.042
Mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTert) expression marks slowly cycling intestinal stem cells. Montgomery Robert K,Carlone Diana L,Richmond Camilla A,Farilla Loredana,Kranendonk Mariette E G,Henderson Daniel E,Baffour-Awuah Nana Yaa,Ambruzs Dana M,Fogli Laura K,Algra Selma,Breault David T Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America The intestinal epithelium is maintained by a population of rapidly cycling (Lgr5(+)) intestinal stem cells (ISCs). It has been postulated, however, that slowly cycling ISCs must also be present in the intestine to protect the genome from accumulating deleterious mutations and to allow for a response to tissue injury. Here, we identify a subpopulation of slowly cycling ISCs marked by mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTert) expression that can give rise to Lgr5(+) cells. mTert-expressing cells distribute in a pattern along the crypt-villus axis similar to long-term label-retaining cells (LRCs) and are resistant to tissue injury. Lineage-tracing studies demonstrate that mTert(+) cells give rise to all differentiated intestinal cell types, persist long term, and contribute to the regenerative response following injury. Consistent with other highly regenerative tissues, our results demonstrate that a slowly cycling stem cell population exists within the intestine. 10.1073/pnas.1013004108
Intestinal stem cells protect their genome by selective segregation of template DNA strands. Potten Christopher S,Owen Gary,Booth Dawn Journal of cell science The stem cells in the crypts of the small intestinal mucosa divide about a thousand times during the lifespan of a laboratory mouse, and yet they show little evidence of any decline in proliferative potential and rarely develop carcinogenic mutations, suggesting that their genome is extremely well protected. Protection against DNA-replication-induced errors can be achieved by the selective sorting of old (template) and new DNA strands with all template strands retained in the stem cell line. The template strands in the stem cells can be labelled during development or during tissue regeneration using tritiated thymidine ((3)HTdR). Labelling newly synthesised strands with a different marker (bromodeoxyuridine, BrdUrd) allows segregation of the two markers to be studied. Template strand label is retained ((3)HTdR), whereas label in the newly synthesised strands (BrdUrd) is lost following the second division of the stem cell. Random errors may occur in the template strands owing to environmental elements. These are protected against by the altruistic cell suicide (apoptosis) of the cells incurring such errors. A final level of protection for the tissue compensates for excessive deletion of stem cells via the apoptosis pathway. This is achieved by a hierarchical age structure in the stem cell compartment, with some cells being able to efficiently repair DNA damage and hence being more radioresistant. The presence of these protective mechanisms ensures that the small intestine rarely develops cancer and that stem cells can sustain the extensive cell proliferation needed during life. 10.1242/jcs.115.11.2381
The segregation of DNA in epithelial stem cells. Potten C S,Hume W J,Reid P,Cairns J Cell 10.1016/0092-8674(78)90274-x
DNA-damage response in tissue-specific and cancer stem cells. Blanpain Cedric,Mohrin Mary,Sotiropoulou Panagiota A,Passegué Emmanuelle Cell stem cell Recent studies have shown that tissue-specific stem cells (SCs) found throughout the body respond differentially to DNA damage. In this review, we will discuss how different SC populations sense and functionally respond to DNA damage, identify various common and distinct mechanisms utilized by tissue-specific SCs to address DNA damage, and describe how these mechanisms can impact SC genomic integrity by potentially promoting aging, tissue atrophy, and/or cancer development. Finally, we will discuss how similar mechanisms operate in cancer stem cells (CSCs) and can mediate resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. 10.1016/j.stem.2010.12.012
Identification of stem cells in small intestine and colon by marker gene Lgr5. Barker Nick,van Es Johan H,Kuipers Jeroen,Kujala Pekka,van den Born Maaike,Cozijnsen Miranda,Haegebarth Andrea,Korving Jeroen,Begthel Harry,Peters Peter J,Clevers Hans Nature The intestinal epithelium is the most rapidly self-renewing tissue in adult mammals. It is currently believed that four to six crypt stem cells reside at the +4 position immediately above the Paneth cells in the small intestine; colon stem cells remain undefined. Lgr5 (leucine-rich-repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5, also known as Gpr49) was selected from a panel of intestinal Wnt target genes for its restricted crypt expression. Here, using two knock-in alleles, we reveal exclusive expression of Lgr5 in cycling columnar cells at the crypt base. In addition, Lgr5 was expressed in rare cells in several other tissues. Using an inducible Cre knock-in allele and the Rosa26-lacZ reporter strain, lineage-tracing experiments were performed in adult mice. The Lgr5-positive crypt base columnar cell generated all epithelial lineages over a 60-day period, suggesting that it represents the stem cell of the small intestine and colon. The expression pattern of Lgr5 suggests that it marks stem cells in multiple adult tissues and cancers. 10.1038/nature06196