L’équipe Guichet vient de publier dans Nature cell Biology :
Barrier epithelial organs face the constant challenge of sealing the interior body from the external environment while simultaneously replacing the cells that contact this environment. New replacement cells—the progeny of basal stem cells—are born without barrier-forming structures such as a specialized apical membrane and occluding junctions. Here, we investigate how new progeny acquire barrier structures as they integrate into the intestinal epithelium of adult Drosophila. We find they gestate their future apical membrane in a sublumenal niche created by a transitional occluding junction that envelops the differentiating cell and enables it to form a deep, microvilli-lined apical pit. The transitional junction seals the pit from the intestinal lumen until differentiation-driven, basal-to-apical remodelling of the niche opens the pit and integrates the now-mature cell into the barrier. By coordinating junctional remodelling with terminal differentiation, stem cell progeny integrate into a functional, adult epithelium without jeopardizing barrier integrity.