Rbm19 is a nucleolar protein expressed in crypt/progenitor cells of the intestinal epithelium

Gene Expr Patterns. 2005 Dec;6(1):45-56. doi: 10.1016/j.modgep.2005.05.001. Epub 2005 Jul 18.


Intestinal development and homeostasis rely on the coordination of proliferation and differentiation of the epithelium. To better understand this process, we are studying Rbm19, a gene expressed in the gut epithelium that is essential for intestinal morphogenesis and differentiation in the zebrafish (Development 130, 3917). Here we analyzed the expression of Rbm19 in several biological contexts that feature proliferation/differentiation cell fate decisions. In the undifferentiated embryonic gut tube, Rbm19 is expressed throughout the epithelium, but then becomes localized to the crypts of Lieberkühn of the adult intestine. Consistent with its expression in adult crypt/progenitor cells, expression is widespread in human colorectal carcinomas and dividing Caco-2 cells. Its expression in Caco-2 cells recapitulates the in vivo pattern, declining when the cells undergo confluence-induced arrest and differentiation. Rbm19 protein localizes to the nucleolus during interphase and to the perichromosomal sheath during mitosis, in accordance with the pattern described for other nucleolar proteins implicated in ribosome biogenesis. Interestingly, the loss of nucleolar rbm19, nucleolin/C23, and nucleophosmin/B23 in confluent Caco-2 cells did not signify loss of nucleoli as detected by electron microscopy. Taken together, these data point to the nucleolus as a possible locus for regulating the proliferation/differentiation cell fate decision in the intestinal epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chickens
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / chemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / chemistry
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Rbm19 protein, human