The transcription co-repressors MTG8 and MTG16 regulate exit of intestinal stem cells from their niche and differentiation into enterocyte vs secretory lineages

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Notch signaling maintains intestinal stem cells (ISCs). When ISCs exit the niche, Notch signaling among early progenitor cells at position +4/5 regulates their specification toward secretory vs enterocyte lineages (binary fate). The transcription factor ATOH1 is repressed by Notch in ISCs; its de-repression, when Notch is inactivated, drives progenitor cells to differentiate along the secretory lineage. However, it is not clear what promotes transition of ISCs to progenitors and how this fate decision is established.