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Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Apr 2;16(4):400-12. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2015.02.006.

Basal cell carcinoma preferentially arises from stem cells within hair follicle and mechanosensory niches.

Author information

1
Departments of Dermatology and Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
2
Departments of Dermatology and Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
3
Departments of Dermatology and Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. Electronic address: sunnyw@umich.edu.

Abstract

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is characterized by frequent loss of PTCH1, leading to constitutive activation of the Hedgehog pathway. Although the requirement for Hedgehog in BCC is well established, the identity of disease-initiating cells and the compartments in which they reside remain controversial. By using several inducible Cre drivers to delete Ptch1 in different cell compartments in mice, we show here that multiple hair follicle stem cell populations readily develop BCC-like tumors. In contrast, stem cells within the interfollicular epidermis do not efficiently form tumors. Notably, we observed that innervated Gli1-expressing progenitors within mechanosensory touch dome epithelia are highly tumorigenic. Sensory nerves activate Hedgehog signaling in normal touch domes, while denervation attenuates touch dome-derived tumors. Together, our studies identify varying tumor susceptibilities among different stem cell populations in the skin, highlight touch dome epithelia as "hot spots" for tumor formation, and implicate cutaneous nerves as mediators of tumorigenesis.

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PMID:
25842978
PMCID:
PMC4387376
DOI:
10.1016/j.stem.2015.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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