American Association for Cancer Research
00085472can180043-sup-194873_3_supp_4789329_p9yygy.png (5.84 MB)

Figure S5 from SMAD4 Suppresses WNT-Driven Dedifferentiation and Oncogenesis in the Differentiated Gut Epithelium

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posted on 2023-03-31, 03:44 authored by Ansu O. Perekatt, Pooja P. Shah, Shannon Cheung, Nidhi Jariwala, Alex Wu, Vishal Gandhi, Namit Kumar, Qiang Feng, Neeket Patel, Lei Chen, Shilpy Joshi, Anbo Zhou, M. Mark Taketo, Jinchuan Xing, Eileen White, Nan Gao, Michael L. Gatza, Michael P. Verzi

nuclear b-catenin




New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research

V Foundation for Cancer Research

Cancer Institute of New Jersey



The cell of origin of colon cancer is typically thought to be the resident somatic stem cells, which are immortal and escape the continual cellular turnover characteristic of the intestinal epithelium. However, recent studies have identified certain conditions in which differentiated cells can acquire stem-like properties and give rise to tumors. Defining the origins of tumors will inform cancer prevention efforts as well as cancer therapies, as cancers with distinct origins often respond differently to treatments. We report here a new condition in which tumors arise from the differentiated intestinal epithelium. Inactivation of the differentiation-promoting transcription factor SMAD4 in the intestinal epithelium was surprisingly well tolerated in the short term. However, after several months, adenomas developed with characteristics of activated WNT signaling. Simultaneous loss of SMAD4 and activation of the WNT pathway led to dedifferentiation and rapid adenoma formation in differentiated tissue. Transcriptional profiling revealed acquisition of stem cell characteristics, and colabeling indicated that cells expressing differentiated enterocyte markers entered the cell cycle and reexpressed stem cell genes upon simultaneous loss of SMAD4 and activation of the WNT pathway. These results indicate that SMAD4 functions to maintain differentiated enterocytes in the presence of oncogenic WNT signaling, thus preventing dedifferentiation and tumor formation in the differentiated intestinal epithelium.Significance: This work identifies a mechanism through which differentiated cells prevent tumor formation by suppressing oncogenic plasticity. Cancer Res; 78(17); 4878–90. ©2018 AACR.