Trefoil Peptides--Less Clandestine in the Intestine

Science  11 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5285, pp. 204
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5285.204


Trefoil peptides are small, stable peptides secreted into the gut, but their function has been obscure. Now Lefebvre et al. (p. 259) and Mashimo et al. (p. 262) report on the phenotype of two mouse lines, each missing a different trefoil peptide. The mouse line missing intestinal trefoil factor is unable to heal gut wounds properly, and the other, missing pS2, shows multiple carcinomas of the gut. Chinery and Coffey explain in their Perspective how these new results imply a function for trefoil proteins in gut-cell maturation and turnover.