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Stem Cells November 1, 2010; 28 (11): 2073-83.

An essential and evolutionarily conserved role of protein arginine methyltransferase 1 for adult intestinal stem cells during postembryonic development.

Matsuda H , Shi YB .

Organ-specific adult stem cells are critical for the homeostasis of adult organs and organ repair and regeneration. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to investigate the origins of these stem cells and the mechanisms of their development, especially in mammals. Intestinal remodeling during frog metamorphosis offers a unique opportunity for such studies. During the transition from an herbivorous tadpole to a carnivorous frog, the intestine is completely remodeled as the larval epithelial cells undergo apoptotic degeneration and are replaced by adult epithelial cells developed de novo. The entire metamorphic process is under the control of thyroid hormone, making it possible to control the development of the adult intestinal stem cells. Here, we show that the thyroid hormone receptor-coactivator protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) is upregulated in a small number of larval epithelial cells and that these cells dedifferentiate to become the adult stem cells. More importantly, transgenic overexpression of PRMT1 leads to increased adult stem cells in the intestine, and conversely, knocking down the expression of endogenous PRMT1 reduces the adult stem cell population. In addition, PRMT1 expression pattern during zebrafish and mouse development suggests that PRMT1 may play an evolutionally conserved role in the development of adult intestinal stem cells throughout vertebrates. These findings are not only important for the understanding of organ-specific adult stem cell development but also have important implications in regenerative medicine of the digestive tract.

PubMed ID: 20872846
PMC ID: PMC3423327
Article link: Stem Cells
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: prmt1
Morpholinos: prmt1 MO2 prmt1 MO3

References [+] :
Amano, Metamorphosis-associated and region-specific expression of calbindin gene in the posterior intestinal epithelium of Xenopus laevis larva. 1998, Pubmed, Xenbase