Mucus produced by goblet cells in the gastrointestinal tract forms a biological barrier that protects the intestine from invasion by commensals and pathogens. However, the host-derived regulatory network that controls mucus secretion and thereby changes gut microbiota has not been well studied. Here, we identify that Forkhead box protein O1 (Foxo1) regulates mucus secretion by goblet cells and determines intestinal homeostasis. Loss of Foxo1 in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) results in defects in goblet cell autophagy and mucus secretion, leading to an impaired gut microenvironment and dysbiosis. Subsequently, due to changes in microbiota and disruption in microbiome metabolites of short-chain fatty acids, Foxo1 deficiency results in altered organization of tight junction proteins and enhanced susceptibility to intestinal inflammation. Our study demonstrates that Foxo1 is crucial for IECs to establish commensalism and maintain intestinal barrier integrity by regulating goblet cell function.

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