bims-instec Biomed News
on Intestinal stem cells and chemoresistance in colon cancer and intestinal regeneration
Issue of 2022‒02‒27
four papers selected by
Maria-Virginia Giolito

  1. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Feb 21. 13(2): 168
      Enhancement of Wnt signaling is fundamental for stem cell function during intestinal regeneration. Molecular modules control Wnt activity by regulating signal transduction. CD44 is such a positive regulator and a Wnt target gene. While highly expressed in intestinal crypts and used as a stem cell marker, its role during intestinal homeostasis and regeneration remains unknown. Here we propose a CD44 positive-feedback loop that boosts Wnt signal transduction, thus impacting intestinal regeneration. Excision of Cd44 in Cd44fl/fl;VillinCreERT2 mice reduced Wnt target gene expression in intestinal crypts and affected stem cell functionality in organoids. Although the integrity of the intestinal epithelium was conserved in mice lacking CD44, they were hypersensitive to dextran sulfate sodium, and showed more severe inflammation and delayed regeneration. We localized the molecular function of CD44 at the Wnt signalosome, and identified novel DVL/CD44 and AXIN/CD44 complexes. CD44 thus promotes optimal Wnt signaling during intestinal regeneration.
  2. Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Feb 25.
      Colorectal cancer is globally one of the most common cancers in all age groups. The current chemotherapy combinations for colorectal cancer treatment include 5-fluorouracil-based regimens; however, drug resistance remains one of the main reasons for chemotherapy failure and disease recurrence. Many studies have determined colorectal cancer chemoresistance mechanisms such as drug efflux, cell cycle arrest, DNA damage repair, apoptosis, autophagy, vital enzymes, epigenetic, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, stem cells, and immune system suppression. Several microRNAs affect drug resistance by regulating the drug resistance-related target genes in colorectal cancer. These drug resistance-related miRNAs may be used as promising biomarkers for predicting drug response or as potential therapeutic targets for treating patients with colorectal cancer. This work reviews and discuss the role of selected microRNAs in 5-fluorouracil resistance and their molecular mechanisms in colorectal cancer.
    Keywords:  5-fluorouracil; Colorectal cancer; Drug resistance; MicroRNA
  3. Cell Tissue Res. 2022 Feb 25.
      During amphibian metamorphosis which is triggered by thyroid hormone (TH), the small intestine is extensively remodeled from the larval to adult form. In the Xenopus laevis intestine, some of the larval epithelial cells dedifferentiate into adult stem cells, which newly form the adult epithelium similar to the mammalian one. We have previously shown that TH-activated Shh, Wnt and Notch signaling pathways play important roles in adult epithelial development. Here we focus on the Hippo signaling pathway, which is known to interact with these pathways in the mammalian intestine. Our quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicates that the expression of genes involved in this pathway including YAP1, TAZ, TEAD1 and core kinases is differently regulated by TH in the metamorphosing intestine. Additionally, we show by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry that the transcriptional co-activator YAP1, a major effector of the Hippo signaling, is expressed in the adult stem cells and connective tissue cells surrounding them and that YAP1 protein is localized in either nucleus or cytoplasm of the stem cells. We further show that YAP1 binds its binding partner TEAD1 (transcription factor) in vivo and that their interaction is inhibited by verteporfin (VP). More importantly, by using VP in organ culture of the tadpole intestine, we experimentally demonstrate that the inhibition of YAP1-TEAD1 interaction decreases both TH-induced stem cells expressing LGR5 and nearby connective tissue cells in number and proliferation, leading to the failure of adult epithelial development. Our results indicate that YAP-TEAD complex is required for stem cell development during intestinal remodeling.
    Keywords:  Amphibian metamorphosis; Hippo pathway; Intestine; Stem cell; YAP-TEAD complex
  4. Nature. 2022 Feb 23.
      Combinations of anti-cancer drugs can overcome resistance and provide new treatments1,2. The number of possible drug combinations vastly exceeds what could be tested clinically. Efforts to systematically identify active combinations and the tissues and molecular contexts in which they are most effective could accelerate the development of combination treatments. Here we evaluate the potency and efficacy of 2,025 clinically relevant two-drug combinations, generating a dataset encompassing 125 molecularly characterized breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer cell lines. We show that synergy between drugs is rare and highly context-dependent, and that combinations of targeted agents are most likely to be synergistic. We incorporate multi-omic molecular features to identify combination biomarkers and specify synergistic drug combinations and their active contexts, including in basal-like breast cancer, and microsatellite-stable or KRAS-mutant colon cancer. Our results show that irinotecan and CHEK1 inhibition have synergistic effects in microsatellite-stable or KRAS-TP53 double-mutant colon cancer cells, leading to apoptosis and suppression of tumour xenograft growth. This study identifies clinically relevant effective drug combinations in distinct molecular subpopulations and is a resource to guide rational efforts to develop combinatorial drug treatments.