Epithelial stem cells: turning over new leaves

Cell. 2007 Feb 9;128(3):445-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.01.014.


Most epithelial tissues self-renew throughout adult life due to the presence of multipotent stem cells and/or unipotent progenitor cells. Epithelial stem cells are specified during development and are controlled by epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Despite morphological and functional differences among epithelia, common signaling pathways appear to control epithelial stem cell maintenance, activation, lineage determination, and differentiation. Additionally, deregulation of these pathways can lead to human disorders including cancer. Understanding epithelial stem cell biology has major clinical implications for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of human diseases, as well as for regenerative medicine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Adult Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism


  • Receptors, Notch
  • Wnt Proteins