Maf family proteins in the intestinal epithelium

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2022

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Abstract

There are fundamental differences in the way that neonatal and adult intestines absorb nutrients. In adults, macromolecules are efficiently broken down into simpler molecular components in the lumen of the small intestine, then absorbed. In contrast, neonates are thought to rely more on bulk intake of nutrients and subsequent degradation in the lysosome. Here, we identify the Maf family transcription factors, MafB and cMaf, as markers of terminally-differentiated intestinal enterocytes throughout life. The expression of these factors is regulated by HNF4a/g, master regulators of the enterocyte cell fate. Loss of Maf factors results in a neonatal-specific failure to thrive and loss of bulk uptake of nutrients. RNA-Seq and CUT&RUN analyses defined an endo-lysosomal program as being downstream of these transcription factors. We demonstrate major transcriptional changes in metabolic pathways, including fatty acid oxidation and increases in peroxisome number in response to loss of Mafs. Additionally, we show that deletion of Blimp1, which represses adult enterocyte genes in the neonatal gut, shows highly overlapping changes in gene expression and similar defects in nutrient uptake. This work defines transcriptional regulators that are necessary for bulk uptake in neonatal enterocytes.

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Bara, Anne Maggie (2022). Maf family proteins in the intestinal epithelium. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26842.

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