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Specific Protein Key to Intestinal Cell Differentiation

However, bone morphogenetic protein is not involved in de novo crypt formation

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) plays a key role in the terminal differentiation of cells of the intestinal secretory lineage, but it is not involved in the de novo crypt formation associated with juvenile polyposis syndrome, researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Nathalie Perreault, Ph.D., from the Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues generated mice lacking Bmp receptor type 1a specifically in the intestinal epithelium.

The researchers found that the mutant mice had increased intestinal cell proliferation, altered intestinal epithelial morphology, and impaired terminal differentiation of cells from the secretory lineage. Epithelial Bmp signaling was not involved in cell fate determination, and lack of signaling was not sufficient to initiate the de novo crypt phenomenon associated with juvenile polyposis syndrome.

"Epithelial Bmp signaling plays an important role in the terminal differentiation of the intestinal secretory cell lineage but not in de novo crypt formation," Perreault and colleagues conclude. "These findings emphasize the importance of delineating the contribution of the stroma versus the epithelium in gastrointestinal physiology and pathology."

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