Stem cells marked by the R-spondin receptor LGR5

Bon-Kyoung Koo, Hans Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Since the discovery of LGR5 as a marker of intestinal stem cells, the field has developed explosively and led to many new avenues of research. The inner workings of the intestinal crypt stem cell niche are now well understood. The study of stem cell-enriched genes has uncovered some previously unknown aspects of the Wnt signaling pathway, the major driver of crypt dynamics. LGR5(+) stem cells can now be cultured over long periods in vitro as epithelial organoids or "mini-guts." This technology opens new possibilities of using cultured adult stem cells for drug development, disease modeling, gene therapy, and regenerative medicine. This review describes the rediscovery of crypt base columnar cells as LGR5(+) adult stem cells and summarizes subsequent progress, promises, unresolved issues, and challenges of the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Adult Stem Cells
  • Animals
  • Biological Markers
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Humans
  • Intestines
  • Organoids
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Time Factors
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway


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