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Gfi1 is a zinc-finger transcriptional repressor that is thought to function downstream of Atoh1 in the intestine. Gfi1 regulates intestinal secretory cell differentiation, likely at the decision point between enteroendocrine and Paneth/goblet cells.
We discovered that Gfi1 mutant intestinal progenitors undergo a fate switch, wherein cells fated to become goblet and Paneth cells instead become enteroendocrine cells. Thus, Gfi1 mutant mice produce too many enteroendocrine cells and too few goblet and Paneth cells.
Current projects in the lab seek to identify targets of Gfi1 transcriptional regulation in the intestine, and to define the role of Gfi1 in disease pathogenesis.
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