Control of Paneth cell function by HuR regulates gut mucosal growth by altering stem cell activity

Lan Xiao, Bridgette Warner, Caroline G. Mallard, Hee K. Chung, Amol Shetty, Christine A. Brantner, Jaladanki N. Rao, Gregory S. Yochum, Walter A. Koltun, Kathleen B. To, Douglas J. Turner, Myriam Gorospe, Jian Ying Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rapid self-renewal of the intestinal epithelium requires the activity of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) that are intermingled with Paneth cells (PCs) at the crypt base. PCs provide multiple secreted and surface-bound niche signals and play an important role in the regulation of ISC proliferation. Here, we show that control of PC function by RNA-binding protein HuR via mitochondria affects intestinal mucosal growth by altering ISC activity. Targeted deletion of HuR in mice disrupted PC gene expression profiles, reduced PC-derived niche factors, and impaired ISC function, leading to inhibited renewal of the intestinal epithelium. Human intestinal mucosa from patients with critical surgical disorders exhibited decreased levels of tissue HuR and PC/ISC niche dysfunction, along with disrupted mucosal growth. HuR deletion led to mitochondrial impairment by decreasing the levels of several mitochondrial-associated proteins including prohibitin 1 (PHB1) in the intestinal epithelium, whereas HuR enhanced PHB1 expression by preventing microRNA-195 binding to the Phb1 mRNA. These results indicate that HuR is essential for maintaining the integrity of the PC/ISC niche and highlight a novel role for a defective PC/ISC niche in the pathogenesis of intestinal mucosa atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202302152
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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