Live and let die in the intestinal epithelium

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Dec;15(6):763-70. doi: 10.1016/


The intestinal epithelium is a relatively simple developmental system and a prime example of tissue renewal from a source of multipotent stem cells. Throughout adulthood, intestinal epithelial proliferation, cell-fate specification and differentiation are coupled to migration in discrete units known as crypts of Lieberkühn. Physically guided by Eph receptors and their ligands, the ephrins, stem cell progeny transit through the proliferation/differentiation switch, and Notch diversifies their subsequent fates. Wnt signalling appears to control most of these events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt Proteins


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Wnt Proteins