Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Genet. 2013 Jan;45(1):98-103. doi: 10.1038/ng.2481. Epub 2012 Dec 2.

Dclk1 distinguishes between tumor and normal stem cells in the intestine.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.


There is great interest in tumor stem cells (TSCs) as potential therapeutic targets; however, cancer therapies targeting TSCs are limited. A drawback is that TSC markers are often shared by normal stem cells (NSCs); thus, therapies that target these markers may cause severe injury to normal tissues. To identify a potential TSC-specific marker, we focused on doublecortin-like kinase 1 (Dclk1). Dclk1 was reported as a candidate NSC marker in the gut, but recent reports have implicated it as a marker of differentiated cells (for example, Tuft cells). Using lineage-tracing experiments, we show here that Dclk1 does not mark NSCs in the intestine but instead marks TSCs that continuously produce tumor progeny in the polyps of Apc(Min/+) mice. Specific ablation of Dclk1-positive TSCs resulted in a marked regression of polyps without apparent damage to the normal intestine. Our data suggest the potential for developing a therapy for colorectal cancer based on targeting Dclk1-positive TSCs.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center