Notch Signaling and the Intestinal Stem Cell

The intestinal epithelium is comprised of a complex but stereotypical mixture of absorptive and secretory cells that must be continuously replenished by the intestinal stem cell (ISC) in order to sustain life. There are a number of key signaling pathways that are involved in the turnover and maintenance of this unique cellular balance. We are particularly interested in the role of the Notch signaling pathway in the intestine. Notch is known to be important for ISC regulation as well as directing differentiated cell fate. We hope to determine what the specific role of Notch is in the ISC in terms of proliferation, differentiation, and survival.