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Genesis. 2016 Mar;54(3):101-14. doi: 10.1002/dvg.22922. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Wnt Signaling Inhibition Deprives Small Intestinal Stem Cells of Clonogenic Capacity.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Molecular Genetics Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, Prague 4, Czech Republic.
2
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Department of Cellular Neurophysiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, Prague 4, Czech Republic.
3
Laboratory of Haematooncology, Institute of Molecular Genetics Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, Prague, Czech Republic.
4
Division BIOCEV, Institute of Molecular Genetics Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, Prague 4, Czech Republic.

Abstract

The Wnt pathway plays a crucial role in self-renewal and differentiation of cells in the adult gut. In the present study, we revealed the functional consequences of inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling in the intestinal epithelium. The study was based on generation of a novel transgenic mouse strain enabling inducible expression of an N-terminally truncated variant of nuclear Wnt effector T cell factor 4 (TCF4). The TCF4 variant acting as a dominant negative (dn) version of wild-type (wt) TCF4 protein decreased transcription of β-catenin-TCF4-responsive genes. Interestingly, suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling affected asymmetric division of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) rather than proliferation. ISCs expressing the transgene underwent several rounds of division but lost their clonogenic potential and migrated out of the crypt. Expression profiling of crypt cells revealed that besides ISC-specific markers, the dnTCF4 production downregulated expression levels of epithelial genes produced in other crypt cells including markers of Paneth cells. Additionally, in Apc conditional knockout mice, dnTCF activation efficiently suppressed growth of Apc-deficient tumors. In summary, the generated mouse strain represents a convenient tool to study cell-autonomous inhibition of β-catenin-Tcf-mediated transcription.

KEYWORDS:

Cre/loxP; TCF/LEF transcription factors; Wnt pathway; gene targeting; gut; β-catenin

PMID:
26864984
PMCID:
PMC5067622
DOI:
10.1002/dvg.22922
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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