bims-instec Biomed News
on Intestinal stem cells and chemoresistance in colon cancer and intestinal regeneration
Issue of 2022‒06‒19
five papers selected by
Maria-Virginia Giolito

  1. Autophagy. 2022 Jun 16.
      Macroautophagy/autophagy defects are a risk factor for intestinal bowel disease (IBD), but the mechanism remains unclear. We previously demonstrated that conditional whole-body deletion of the essential Atg7 (autophagy related 7) gene in adult mice (atg7Δ/Δ) causes specific tissue damage and shortens lifespan to three months primarily due to neurodegeneration with surprisingly no disturbing effects on the intestine. In contrast, we recently found that conditional whole-body deletion of other essential autophagy genes, Atg5 or Rb1cc1/Fip200 (atg5Δ/Δ or rb1cc1Δ/Δ), cause death within five days due to rapid inhibition of autophagy, elimination of intestinal stem cells, and loss of barrier function in the ileum. atg5Δ/Δ mice lose PDGFRA/PDGFRα+ mesenchymal cells (PMCs) and WNT signaling essential for stem cell renewal. Depletion of aspartate and nucleotides in atg5Δ/Δ ileum was revealed by novel mass-spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI), consistent with metabolic insufficiency underlying PMCs loss. The difference in the autophagy gene knockout phenotypes is likely due to distinct kinetics of autophagy loss because gradual whole-body atg5 deletion extends lifespan, phenocopying deletion of Atg7 or Atg12. Therefore, we established that autophagy is required for ileum PMC metabolism, stem cell maintenance and mammalian survival. PMC loss caused by autophagy deficiency may therefore contribute to IBD.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; IBD; PDGFRα+ mesenchymal cells; WNT signaling; intestinal stem cells
  2. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2022 Jun 18.
      BACKGROUND: The mechanism underlying colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation and progression remains elusive, and overall survival is far from satisfactory. Previous studies have shown that PDGFA-associated protein 1 (PDAP1) is upregulated in several cancers including CRC. Here, we aimed to identify the cause and consequence of PDAP1 dysregulation in CRC and evaluate its role as a potential therapeutic target.METHODS: Multi-omics data analysis was performed to identify potential key players in CRC initiation and progression. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining was applied to determine the expression pattern of PDAP1 in CRC tissues. Pdap1 conditional knockout mice were used to establish colitis and CRC mouse models. RNA sequencing, a phosphoprotein antibody array, western blotting, histological analysis, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation assay, and interactome analysis were applied to identify the underlying mechanisms of PDAP1. A human patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model was used to assess the potential of PDAP1 as a therapeutic target.
    RESULTS: PDAP1 was identified as a potential key player in CRC development using multi-omics data analysis. PDAP1 was overexpressed in CRC cells and correlated with reduced overall survival. Further investigation showed that PDAP1 was critical for the regulation of cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis. Significantly, depletion of Pdap1 in intestinal epithelial cells impaired mucosal restitution in dextran sulfate sodium salt-induced colitis and inhibited tumor initiation and growth in colitis-associated cancers. Mechanistic studies showed that c-Myc directly transactivated PDAP1, which contributed to the high PDAP1 expression in CRC cells. PDAP1 interacted with the juxtamembrane domain of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and facilitated EGFR-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling activation, which resulted in FOS-related antigen 1 (FRA-1) expression, thereby facilitating CRC progression. Notably, silencing of PDAP1 could hinder the growth of patient-derived xenografts that sustain high PDAP1 levels.
    CONCLUSIONS: PDAP1 facilitates mucosal restitution and carcinogenesis in colitis-associated cancer. c-Myc-driven upregulation of PDAP1 promotes proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis of CRC cells via the EGFR-MAPK-FRA-1 signaling axis. These findings indicated that PDAP1 inhibition is warranted for CRC patients with PDAP1 overexpression.
    Keywords:  FRA-1; PDAP1; c-Myc; carcinogenesis; colorectal cancer
  3. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2022 Jun 13.
      As an emerging technology in precision medicine, the patient-derived organoid (PDO) technology has been indicated to provide novel modalities to judge the sensitivity of individual tumors to cancer drugs. In this work, an in vitro model of colorectal cancer (CRC) was established using the PDO culture, and it is demonstrated that the PDO samples preserved, to a great extent, the histologic features and marker expression of the original tumor tissues. Subsequently, cancer drugs 5-FU, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan were selected and screened on five CRC PDO samples, while the patient-derived organoid xenograft (PDOX) model was applied for comparison. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was drawn according to the IC50 data from the PDO model and the relative tumor proliferation rate (T/C%) from PDOX. Interestingly, the area under the ROC curve was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.64-1.04, P value = 0.028), which suggested that the IC50 of cancer drugs from the PDO model was strongly correlated with PDOX responses. In addition, the optimal sensitivity cutoff value for drug screening in CRC PDOs was identified at 10.35 μM, which could act as a reference value for efficacy evaluation of 5-FU, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan in the colorectal cancer drug screening. Since there are no unified criteria to judge the sensitivity of drugs in vitro, our work provides a method for establishing in vitro evaluation criteria via PDO and PDOX model using the patient tissues received from local hospitals, exhibiting potential in clinical cancer therapy and precision medicine.
    Keywords:  colorectal cancer; drug screening; patient-derived organoid; patient-derived organoid xenografts
  4. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 836005
      Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) has been implicated as a molecular driver and mediator in both inflammation and tumorigenesis of the colon. However, a role for ILK in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and immune evasion has not been investigated. Here, we show a correlation of ILK expression with the immunosuppressive TME and cancer prognosis. We also uncover a role for ILK in the regulation of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and immune cell cytotoxicity. Interrogation of web-based data-mining platforms, showed upregulation of ILK expression in tumors and adjacent-non tumor tissue of colorectal cancer (CRC) associated with poor survival and advanced stages. ILK expression was correlated with cancer-associated fibroblast (CAFs) and immunosuppressive cell infiltration including regulatory T cells (Treg) and M2 macrophages (M2) in addition to their gene markers. ILK expression was also significantly correlated with the expression of different cytokines and chemokines. ILK expression showed pronounced association with different important immune checkpoints including PD-L1. Deletion of the ILK gene in PD-L1 positive CRC cell lines using a doxycycline inducible-CRISPR/Cas9, resulted in suppression of both the basal and IFNγ-induced PD-L1 expression via downregulating NF-κB p65. This subsequently sensitized the CRC cells to NK92 immune cell cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that ILK can be used as a biomarker for prognosis and immune cell infiltration in colon cancer. Moreover, ILK could provide a therapeutic target to prevent immune evasion mediated by the expression of PD-L1.
    Keywords:  PD-L1, immune evasion; cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs); colorectal cancer (CRC); immune cell infiltration; integrin-linked kinase (ILK); tumor microenvironment (TME)
  5. Tissue Barriers. 2022 Jun 11. 2087454
      The intestinal epithelial barrier is susceptible to injury from insults, such as ischemia or infectious disease. The epithelium's ability to repair wounded regions is critical to maintaining barrier integrity. Mechanisms of intestinal epithelial repair can be studied with models that recapitulate the in vivo environment. This review focuses on in vitro injury models and intestinal cell lines utilized in such systems. The formation of artificial wounds in a controlled environment allows for the exploration of reparative physiology in cell lines modeling diverse aspects of intestinal physiology. Specifically, the use of intestinal cell lines, IPEC-J2, Caco-2, T-84, HT-29, and IEC-6, to model intestinal epithelium is discussed. Understanding the unique systems available for creating intestinal injury and the differences in monolayers used for in vitro work is essential for designing studies that properly capture relevant physiology for the study of intestinal wound repair.
    Keywords:  IPEC-J2 cells; cell model; injury barrier function; transepithelial electrical resistance