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PLoS Genet. 2015 May 28;11(5):e1005208. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005208. eCollection 2015 May.

β-Catenin Signaling Biases Multipotent Lingual Epithelial Progenitors to Differentiate and Acquire Specific Taste Cell Fates.

Author information

1
Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, and the Rocky Mountain Taste & Smell Center, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, United States of America.
2
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America; Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
3
Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Scott & White Hospital, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Temple, Texas, United States of America.
4
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

Continuous taste bud cell renewal is essential to maintain taste function in adults; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate taste cell turnover are unknown. Using inducible Cre-lox technology, we show that activation of β-catenin signaling in multipotent lingual epithelial progenitors outside of taste buds diverts daughter cells from a general epithelial to a taste bud fate. Moreover, while taste buds comprise 3 morphological types, β-catenin activation drives overproduction of primarily glial-like Type I taste cells in both anterior fungiform (FF) and posterior circumvallate (CV) taste buds, with a small increase in Type II receptor cells for sweet, bitter and umami, but does not alter Type III sour detector cells. Beta-catenin activation in post-mitotic taste bud precursors likewise regulates cell differentiation; forced activation of β-catenin in these Shh+ cells promotes Type I cell fate in both FF and CV taste buds, but likely does so non-cell autonomously. Our data are consistent with a model where β-catenin signaling levels within lingual epithelial progenitors dictate cell fate prior to or during entry of new cells into taste buds; high signaling induces Type I cells, intermediate levels drive Type II cell differentiation, while low levels may drive differentiation of Type III cells.

PMID:
26020789
PMCID:
PMC4447363
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1005208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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