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F1000Res. 2019 Jan 18;8. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-72. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.16793.1. eCollection 2019.

Recent advances in understanding intestinal stem cell regulation.

Hu D1,2, Yan H1, He XC3, Li L3,4.

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Department of Cell Biology, 2011 Collaborative Innovation Center of Tianjin for Medical Epigenetics; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Medical Epigenetics, Tianjin Medical University, Heping, Tianjin, China.
Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Ministry of Education, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Heping, Tianjin, China.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, USA.
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, China.


Intestinal homeostasis and regeneration are driven by intestinal stem cells (ISCs) lying in the crypt. In addition to the actively cycling ISCs that maintain daily homeostasis, accumulating evidence supports the existence of other pools of stem/progenitor cells with the capacity to repair damaged tissue and facilitate rapid restoration of intestinal integrity after injuries. Appropriate control of ISCs and other populations of intestinal epithelial cells with stem cell activity is essential for intestinal homeostasis and regeneration while their deregulation is implicated in colorectal tumorigenesis. In this review, we will summarize the recent findings about ISC identity and cellular plasticity in intestine, discuss regulatory mechanisms that control ISCs for intestinal homeostasis and regeneration, and put a particular emphasis on extrinsic niche-derived signaling and intrinsic epigenetic regulation. Moreover, we highlight several fundamental questions about the precise mechanisms conferring robust capacity for intestine to maintain physiological homeostasis and repair injuries.


Epigenetics; Homeostasis; Intestinal stem cell; Nich; Plasticity; Regeneration

Conflict of interest statement

No competing interests were disclosed.No competing interests were disclosed.No competing interests were disclosed.No competing interests were disclosed.

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