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Development. 2014 Aug;141(16):3143-52. doi: 10.1242/dev.106989. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Tcf3 expression marks both stem and progenitor cells in multiple epithelia.

Author information

1
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA Medical Scientist Training Program, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA Program in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
2
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University, PO Box 19620, Springfield, IL 62794, USA.
3
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
4
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA Program in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA Department of Dermatology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA hoangn@bcm.edu.

Abstract

The Lef/Tcf-family transcription factor Tcf3 has important roles in development, stem cell function and malignancy. Previous gain- and loss-of-function studies have suggested that Tcf3 is a mediator of self-renewal and an undifferentiated state in stem and progenitor cells in skin, but little is known of its role in other postnatal tissues. Here, we explore the distribution and behavior of Tcf3-expressing cells in several adult tissues using a novel Tcf3-CreER knock-in mouse model. By lineage tracing in dorsal skin, we verify that Tcf3-expressing cells in the hair follicle bulge are self-renewing stem cells with multilineage potential. We then demonstrate, for the first time, the presence of Tcf3-expressing cells in the basal layer of several other stratified epithelia, including the paw skin, tongue and esophagus. By lineage tracing, we demonstrate that the Tcf3-expressing population in these tissues includes persistent stem cells, transient progenitors and cells undergoing active differentiation. Our observations here suggest that the role of Tcf3 in cell-fate decision is more complex than previously appreciated and is highly dependent on cellular context.

KEYWORDS:

Adult stem cells; Lineage tracing; Mouse; Tcf transcription factors; Transcription factor 7-like 1 protein

PMID:
25038042
PMCID:
PMC4197553
DOI:
10.1242/dev.106989
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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