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Keywords:

  • Brahma-related gene 1;
  • Intestinal stem cell;
  • SWItch/sucrose nonfermentable

Abstract

Brg1 is a chromatin remodeling factor involved in mediation of a plethora of signaling pathways leading to its participation in various physiological processes both during development and in adult tissues. Among other signaling pathways, the Wnt pathway has been proposed to require Brg1 for transactivation of its target genes. Given the pivotal role of the Wnt pathway in the maintenance of normal intestinal homeostasis, we aimed to investigate the effects of Brg1 loss on the intestinal physiology. To this end, we deleted Brg1 in the murine small and large intestinal epithelia using a range of transgenic approaches. Pan-epithelial loss of Brg1 in the small intestine resulted in crypt ablation, while partial Brg1 deficiency led to gradual repopulation of the intestinal mucosa with wild-type cells. In contrast, Brg1 loss in the large intestinal epithelium was compensated by upregulation of Brm. We propose that while Brg1 is dispensable for the survival and function of the progenitor and differentiated cells in the murine intestinal epithelium, it is essential for the maintenance of the stem cell population in a tissue-specific manner. Stem Cells 2013;31:2457–2466