Cellular mechanisms of epithelial stem cell self-renewal and differentiation during homeostasis and repair

Diya Das, Russell B. Fletcher, John Ngai

WIREs Developmental Biology
August 29, 2019

Abstract: Epithelia in adult mammals exhibit remarkable regenerative capacities owing to the presence of adult stem cells, which self‐renew and differentiate to replace cells lost to normal turnover or injury. The mechanisms supporting tissue homeostasis and injury‐induced repair often differ from each other as well as from those used in embryonic development. Recent studies have also highlighted the phenomenon of cellular plasticity in adult tissues, in which differentiated cells can change fate and even give rise to new stem cell populations to complement the canonical stem cells in promoting repair following injury. Signaling pathways such as WNT, bone morphogenetic protein, and Sonic Hedgehog play critical roles in stem cell maintenance and cell fate decisions across diverse epithelia and conditions, suggesting that conserved mechanisms underlie the regenerative capacity of adult epithelial structures.

Featured Fellows

Diya Das

Molecular & Cell Biology