Intestinal tuft cells regulate the ATM mediated DNA Damage response via Dclk1 dependent mechanism for crypt restitution following radiation injury

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 23;6:37667. doi: 10.1038/srep37667.


Crypt epithelial survival and regeneration after injury require highly coordinated complex interplay between resident stem cells and diverse cell types. The function of Dclk1 expressing tuft cells regulating intestinal epithelial DNA damage response for cell survival/self-renewal after radiation-induced injury is unclear. Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) were isolated and purified and utilized for experimental analysis. We found that small intestinal crypts of VillinCre;Dclk1f/f mice were hypoplastic and more apoptotic 24 h post-total body irradiation, a time when stem cell survival is p53-independent. Injury-induced ATM mediated DNA damage response, pro-survival genes, stem cell markers, and self-renewal ability for survival and restitution were reduced in the isolated intestinal epithelial cells. An even greater reduction in these signaling pathways was observed 3.5 days post-TBI, when peak crypt regeneration occurs. We found that interaction with Dclk1 is critical for ATM and COX2 activation in response to injury. We determined that Dclk1 expressing tuft cells regulate the whole intestinal epithelial cells following injury through paracrine mechanism. These findings suggest that intestinal tuft cells play an important role in regulating the ATM mediated DNA damage response, for epithelial cell survival/self-renewal via a Dclk1 dependent mechanism, and these processes are indispensable for restitution and function after severe radiation-induced injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / radiation effects
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Enterocytes / metabolism
  • Enterocytes / radiation effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Intestines / pathology*
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / radiation effects
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / deficiency
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Radiation Injuries / metabolism*
  • Radiation Injuries / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Survival Analysis
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Biomarkers
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • villin
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Dcamkl1 protein, mouse
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases
  • Dinoprostone