Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 2011 Mar 16;30(6):1104-9. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2011.26. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Lgr5 intestinal stem cells have high telomerase activity and randomly segregate their chromosomes.

Author information

  • 1Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Somatic cells have been proposed to be limited in the number of cell divisions they can undergo. This is thought to be a mechanism by which stem cells retain their integrity preventing disease. However, we have recently discovered intestinal crypt stem cells that persist for the lifetime of a mouse, yet divide every day. We now demonstrate biochemically that primary isolated Lgr5+ve stem cells contain significant telomerase activity. Telomerase activity rapidly decreases in the undifferentiated progeny of these stem cells and is entirely lost in differentiated villus cells. Conversely, asymmetric segregation of chromosomes has been proposed as a mechanism for stem cells to protect their genomes against damage. We determined the average cell cycle length of Lgr5+ve stem cells at 21.5 h and find that Lgr5+ve intestinal stem cells randomly segregate newly synthesized DNA strands, opposing the 'immortal strand' hypothesis.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (5)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk