The expression of 18149 genes have been analysed during the differentiation of the human intestinal cell line Caco-2. cDNA probes from undifferentiated and differentiated Caco-2 cells were separately hybridised to EST DNAs spotted in an array on a nylon membrane. A remarkable change in the transcriptome was observed during the differentiation of the Caco-2 cells. 8762 of the 18149 genes analysed were expressed above background level in the undifferentiated Caco-2 cells, whereas only 5767 genes were expressed above background in differentiated Caco-2 cells. This pattern of expression was caused by a general down-regulation of genes in the low abundance class. Similar results were found using mouse small intestinal crypt and villus cells, suggesting that the phenomenon also occurs in the intestine in vivo. The expression data were subsequently used in a search for markers for subsets of epithelial cells by performing reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on RNA extracted from laser dissected intestinal crypt and villi. In a screen of eight transcripts one - SART3 - was identified as a marker for human colonic crypts.
Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta, 2002, Vol 1589, Issue 2, p. 160-7