The tankyrase inhibitor G007-LK inhibits small intestine LGR5+ stem cell proliferation without altering tissue morphology

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Abstract

Background: The WNT pathway regulates intestinal stem cells and is frequently disrupted in intestinal adenomas. The pathway contains several potential biotargets for interference, including the poly-ADP ribosyltransferase enzymes tankyrase1 and 2. LGR5 is a known WNT pathway target gene and marker of intestinal stem cells. The LGR5+ stem cells are located in the crypt base and capable of regenerating all intestinal epithelial cell lineages. Results: We treated Lgr5-EGFP-Ires-CreERT2;R26R-Confetti mice with the tankyrase inhibitor G007-LK for up to 3 weeks to assess the effect on duodenal stem cell homeostasis and on the integrity of intestinal epithelium. At the administered doses, G007-LK treatment inhibited WNT signalling in LGR5+ stem cells and reduced the number and distribution of cells traced from duodenal LGR5+ stem cells. However, the gross morphology of the duodenum remained unaltered and G007-LK-treated mice showed no signs of weight loss or any other visible morphological changes. The inhibitory effect on LGR5+ stem cell proliferation was reversible. Conclusion: We show that the tankyrase inhibitor G007-LK is well tolerated by the mice, although proliferation of the LGR5+ intestinal stem cells was inhibited. Our observations suggest the presence of a tankyrase inhibitor-resistant cell population in the duodenum, able to rescue tissue integrity in the presence of G007-LK-mediated inhibition of the WNT signalling dependent LGR5+ intestinal epithelial stem cells.

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Norum, J. H., Skarpen, E., Brech, A., Kuiper, R., Waaler, J., Krauss, S., & Sørlie, T. (2018). The tankyrase inhibitor G007-LK inhibits small intestine LGR5+ stem cell proliferation without altering tissue morphology. Biological Research, 51(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40659-017-0151-6

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