Ascl2 acts as an R-spondin/wnt-responsive switch to control stemness in intestinal crypts

Jurian Schuijers, Jan Philipp Junker, Michal Mokry, Pantelis Hatzis, Bon Kyoung Koo, Valentina Sasselli, Laurens G. Van Der Flier, Edwin Cuppen, Alexander Van Oudenaarden, Hans Clevers

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

179 Citaten (Scopus)


The Wnt signaling pathway controls stem cell identity in the intestinal epithelium and in many other adult organs. The transcription factor Ascl2 (a Wnt target gene) is a master regulator of intestinal stem cell identity. It is unclear how the continuous Wnt gradient along the crypt axis is translated into discrete expression of Ascl2 and discrete specification of stem cells at crypt bottoms. We show that (1) Ascl2 is regulated in a direct autoactivatory loop, leading to a distinct on/off expression pattern, and (2) Wnt/R-spondin can activate this regulatory loop. This mechanism interprets the Wnt levels in the intestinal crypt and translates the continuous Wnt signal into a discrete Ascl2 "on" or "off" decision. In turn, Ascl2, together with β-catenin/Tcf, activates the genes fundamental to the stem cell state. In this manner, Ascl2 forms a transcriptional switch that is both Wnt responsive and Wnt dependent to define stem cell identity.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)158-170
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftCell Stem Cell
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusGepubliceerd - 5 feb. 2015
Extern gepubliceerdJa


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Ascl2 acts as an R-spondin/wnt-responsive switch to control stemness in intestinal crypts'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit