Single-cell RNA-seq reveals distinct maturation stages of the Paneth cell lineage
Paneth cells (PCs) are long-lived secretory cells that reside at the bottoms of small intestinal crypts. Besides serving as niche cells for the neighboring Lgr5-positive stem cells, PCs secrete granules containing a broad spectrum of antimicrobial proteins, including lysozymes and defensins1. Here, we have used single-cell RNA sequencing to explore PC differentiation. We found a maturation gradient from early secretory progenitors to mature PCs, capturing the full maturation path of PCs. Moreover, differential expression of a subset of defensin genes in lysozyme-high PCs, e.g. Defa20, reveals at least two distinct stages of maturation. Overall design: We traced Lgr5+ stem cells from Lgr5-CreERT2 C57Bl6/J mice bred to a Rosa26LSL-YFP reporter mice and sorted YFP+ cells 5 days, 3 weeks and 8 weeks after tamoxifen injection.
External Link: /pubmed:27345837