Regulation of self-renewal and differentiation by the intestinal stem cell niche
ABSTRACT The gastrointestinal epithelium is a highly organised tissue that is constantly being renewed. In order to maintain homeostasis, the balance between intestinal stem cell (ISC) self-renewal and differentiation must be carefully regulated. In this review, we describe how the intestinal stem cell niche provides a unique environment to regulate self-renewal and differentiation of ISCs. It has traditionally been believed that the mesenchymal myofibroblasts play an important role in the crosstalk between ISCs and the niche. However, recent evidence in Drosophila and in vertebrates suggests that epithelial cells also contribute to the niche. We discuss the multiple signalling pathways that are utilised to regulate stemness within the niche, including members of the Wnt, BMP and Hedgehog pathways, and how aberrations in these signals lead to disruption of the normal crypt-villus axis. Finally, we also discuss how CDX1 and inhibition of the Notch pathway are important in specifying enterocyte and goblet cell differentiation respectively.
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ABSTRACT: In order to maintain tissue homeostasis, cell fate decisions within stem cell lineages have to respond to the needs of the tissue. This coordination of lineage choices with regenerative demand remains poorly characterized. Here, we identify a signal from enteroendocrine cells (EEs) that controls lineage specification in the Drosophila intestine. We find that EEs secrete Slit, a ligand for the Robo2 receptor in intestinal stem cells (ISCs) that limits ISC commitment to the endocrine lineage, establishing negative feedback control of EE regeneration. Furthermore, we show that this lineage decision is made within ISCs and requires induction of the transcription factor Prospero in ISCs. Our work identifies a function for the conserved Slit/Robo pathway in the regulation of adult stem cells, establishing negative feedback control of ISC lineage specification as a critical strategy to preserve tissue homeostasis. Our results further amend the current understanding of cell fate commitment within the Drosophila ISC lineage.Cell Reports 06/2014; 7(6). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.05.024 · 7.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Homeostasis in adult tissues is maintained by resident stem cells and their progeny. Little is known about the regulation of tissue homeostasis by organ-organ interaction. Here we demonstrate that trachea-derived Decapentaplegic (Dpp), the main bone morphogenetic protein ligand in Drosophila, is essential for adult midgut homeostasis. We show that Dpp signaling is primarily activated in enterocytes (ECs). Depletion of Dpp signaling in ECs results in excess amounts of intestinal stem-cell-like cells and their progeny. Importantly, we find that Dpp is expressed specifically in tracheal cells that reach the intestinal cells through the visceral muscles. Depletion of dpp expression in tracheal cells phenocopies the Dpp loss-of-function defects in ECs. Our data demonstrate that the Drosophila trachea not only exchanges air for bodily needs but also produces a Dpp morphogen essential for neighboring tissue homeostasis. This work will provide important insights into the mechanisms of tissue homeostasis control by interorgan communication.Developmental Cell 01/2013; 24(2):133-143. DOI:10.1016/j.devcel.2012.12.010 · 10.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The biological consequences of low levels of radiation exposure and their effects on human health are unclear. Ionizing radiation induces a variety of lesions of which DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the most biologically significant, because unrepaired or misrepaired DSBs can lead to genomic instability and cell death. Using repair-proficient mice as an in vivo system we monitored the accumulation of DNA damage in normal tissues exposed to daily low-dose radiation of 100mGy or 10mGy. Radiation-induced foci in differentiated and tissue-specific stem cells were quantified by immunofluorescence microscopy after 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks of daily low-dose radiation and DNA lesions were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) combined with immunogold-labeling. In brain, long-living cortical neurons had a significant accumulation of foci with increasing cumulative doses. In intestine and skin, characterized by constant cell renewal of their epithelial lining, differentiated enterocytes and keratinocytes had either unchanged or only slightly increased foci levels during protracted low-dose radiation. Significantly, analysis of epidermal stem cells in skin revealed a constant increase of 53BP1 foci during the first weeks of low-dose radiation even with 10mGy, suggesting substantial accumulations of DSBs. However, TEM analysis suggests that these remaining 53BP1 foci, which are predominantly located in compact heterochromatin, do not co-localize with phosphorylated Ku70 or DNA-PKcs, core components of non-homologous end-joining. The biological relevance of these persistent 53BP1 foci, particularly their contribution to genomic instability by genetic and epigenetic alterations, has to be defined in future studies.DNA repair 09/2012; 11(10):823-32. DOI:10.1016/j.dnarep.2012.07.005 · 3.36 Impact Factor