Balanced and dynamic interactions among mucus layers, intestinal epithelial cells, and microbiota, are essential for the maintenance of the intestinal mucosal homeostasis. The disruption of this balance leads to a defective mucus barrier with increased permeability that results in intestinal inflammation. The homeodomain transcription factor, Prep1, is expressed in the post-mitotic differentiated intestinal epithelial cells and is essential in embryonic development.  The goal of this project is to study  the involvement of Prep1 in intestinal epithelial homeostasis, and its functional role in human and experimental IBD.