Epigenetics in Intestinal Epithelial Cell Renewal

J Cell Physiol. 2016 Nov;231(11):2361-7. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25401. Epub 2016 Apr 26.


A controlled balance between cell proliferation and differentiation is essential to maintain normal intestinal tissue renewal and physiology. Such regulation is powered by several intracellular pathways that are translated into the establishment of specific transcription programs, which influence intestinal cell fate along the crypt-villus axis. One important check-point in this process occurs in the transit amplifying zone of the intestinal crypts where different signaling pathways and transcription factors cooperate to manage cellular proliferation and differentiation, before secretory or absorptive cell lineage terminal differentiation. However, the importance of epigenetic modifications such as histone methylation and acetylation in the regulation of these processes is still incompletely understood. There have been recent advances in identifying the impact of histone modifications and chromatin remodelers on the proliferation and differentiation of normal intestinal crypt cells. In this review we discuss recent discoveries on the role of the cellular epigenome in intestinal cell fate, development, and tissue renewal. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2361-2367, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Cellular Physiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestines / cytology*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Histones