Factors regulating quiescent stem cells: insights from the intestine and other self-renewing tissues

J Physiol. 2016 Sep 1;594(17):4805-13. doi: 10.1113/JP271653. Epub 2016 Jan 18.


Long-lived and self-renewing adult stem cells (SCs) are essential for homeostasis in a wide range of tissues and can include both rapidly cycling and quiescent (q)SC populations. Rapidly cycling SCs function principally during normal tissue maintenance and are highly sensitive to stress, whereas qSCs exit from their quiescent state in response to homeostatic imbalance and regenerative pressure. The regulatory mechanisms underlying the quiescent state include factors essential for cell cycle control, stress response and survival pathways, developmental signalling pathways, and post-transcriptional modulation. Here, we review these regulatory mechanisms citing observations from the intestine and other self-renewing tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Autophagy
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Proteins / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Intestines / cytology*
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / physiology
  • Protein Kinases / physiology


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase