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. 2016 Mar 1;22(5):1284-94.
doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-0306. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Elevated Coexpression of KITENIN and the ErbB4 CYT-2 Isoform Promotes the Transition From Colon Adenoma to Carcinoma Following APC Loss

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Elevated Coexpression of KITENIN and the ErbB4 CYT-2 Isoform Promotes the Transition From Colon Adenoma to Carcinoma Following APC Loss

Jeong A Bae et al. Clin Cancer Res. .
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Abstract

Purpose and experimental design: The molecular events in the malignant progression of colon adenoma after loss of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) are not fully understood. KITENIN (KAI1 C-terminal interacting tetraspanin) increases the invasiveness of colorectal cancer cells, and we identified a novel EGFR-independent oncogenic signal of EGF that works under coexpressed KITENIN and ErbB4. Here we tested whether elevated KITENIN and ErbB4 contribute to further progression of intestinal adenoma following APC loss.

Results: The intestinal tissues of villin-KITENIN transgenic mice in which villin-driven KITENIN expression induces increased c-Jun expression exhibit mild epithelial cell proliferation but no epithelial lineage changes compared with those of nontransgenic mice. Among the four ErbB4 isoforms, JM-a/CYT-2 and JM-b/CYT-2 exhibited the highest AP-1 activity when cells coexpressing KITENIN and each isoform were stimulated by EGF. Interestingly, predominant overexpression of the ErB4-CYT-2 mRNA as well as increased EGFR expression were observed in intestinal adenoma of APC(min/+) mice, which makes the microenvironment of activated EGF signaling. When we crossed villin-KITENIN mice with APC(min/+) mice, intestinal tumor tissues in the crossed mice showed the characteristics of early-stage invading adenocarcinoma. In patients with colorectal cancer, ErbB4-CYT-2 mRNA expression was significantly greater in tumor tissues than in normal adjacent tissues, but no significant differences in tumor tissue expression were found between different colorectal cancer stages. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of KITENIN and that of ErbB4-CYT-2 were positively correlated in human colorectal cancer tissue.

Conclusions: Elevated coexpression of KITENIN and ErbB4-CYT-2 promotes the transition of colon adenoma to adenocarcinoma within an APC loss-associated tumor microenvironment.

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