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Eur J Cell Biol. 2001 Feb;80(2):156-63.

Cdx1 promotes cellular growth of epithelial intestinal cells through induction of the secretory protein PAP I.

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Laboratoire de Recherche de Physiologie et Pathologie Digestives, INSERM U.315, Marseille, France.


Expression of the Cdx1 homeobox gene in epithelial intestinal cells promotes cellular growth and differentiation. Cdx1and the Pancreatitis Associated Protein I (PAP I) are concomitantly expressed in the epithelial cells of the lower part of the intestinal crypts. Because Cdx1 is a transcription factor and PAP I, in other tissues, is a proliferative factor, we looked for a relationship between these two proteins in the intestinal-derived IEC-6 cells. After stable transfection with a Cdx1 expression vector, they produce high levels of the PAP I transcript and protein indicating a functional link between the two genes. Demonstration of Cdx1 binding to the PAP I promoter region and suppression of PAP I induction after deletion of the corresponding sequence indicated that Cdx1 is a transcription factor controlling PAP I gene expression in intestinal cells. By infecting IEC-6 cells with adenoviruses expressing PAP I, we demonstrated that PAP I induces mitosis in these cells. On the other hand, inhibition of the PAP I expression in the IEC-6 Cdxl-expressing cells using an antisense strategy confirmed the requirement of this protein for the effect of Cdx1 on cell growth. Finally, addition of the immunopurified PAP I to the culture medium promotes cell growth of the IEC-6 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Maximal effect was obtained at 1 ng/ml. Taken together these results demonstrate that PAP I is a target of the Cdx1 homeobox gene in intestinal cells which participates in the regulation of intestinal cell growth via an autocrine and/or paracrine mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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