Molecular players in intestinal epithelial topography
The epithelium is a widespread tissue that covers all the outer and inner surfaces of our body including the skin and the intestine. Apart from its role as a physical barrier, the intestinal epithelium serves to regulate nutrient uptake and interacts with microbiota. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms that determine its architecture and dynamics. The EU-funded TOPOGRAPHYSENSING project is examining the role of the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), a transmembrane glycoprotein. Researchers will assess how EpCAM senses mechanical cues from the microenvironment to drive the spatial organisation of epithelial cells in the intestine.