Morphogenesis and Compartmentalization of the Intestinal Crypt.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The adult mammalian intestine is composed of two connected structures, the absorptive villi and the crypts, which house progenitor cells. Mouse crypts develop postnatally and are the architectural unit of the stem cell niche, yet the pathways that drive their formation are not known. Here, we combine transcriptomic, quantitative morphometric, and genetic analyses to identify mechanisms of crypt development. We uncover the upregulation of a contractility gene network at the earliest stage of crypt formation, which drives myosin II-dependent apical constriction and invagination of the crypt progenitor cells. Subsequently, hinges form, compartmentalizing crypts from villi. Hinges contain basally constricted cells, and this cell shape change was inhibited by increased hemidesmosomal adhesion in Rac1 null mice. Loss of hinges resulted in reduced villar spacing, revealing an unexpected role for crypts in tissue architecture and physiology. These studies provide a framework for studying crypt morphogenesis and identify essential regulators of niche formation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sumigray, KD; Terwilliger, M; Lechler, T

Published Date

  • April 23, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 183 - 197.e5

PubMed ID

  • 29689194

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5987226

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-1551

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.03.024


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States