Hormonal Suppression of Stem Cells Inhibits Symmetric Cell Division and Gastric Tumorigenesis

Cell Stem Cell. 2020 May 7;26(5):739-754.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2020.01.020. Epub 2020 Mar 5.


Cancer is believed to arise from stem cells, but mechanisms that limit the acquisition of mutations and tumor development have not been well defined. We show that a +4 stem cell (SC) in the gastric antrum, marked by expression of Cck2r (a GPCR) and Delta-like ligand 1 (DLL1), is a label-retaining cell that undergoes predominant asymmetric cell division. This +4 antral SC is Notch1low/ Numb+ and repressed by signaling from gastrin-expressing endocrine (G) cells. Chemical carcinogenesis of the stomach is associated with loss of G cells, increased symmetric stem cell division, glandular fission, and more rapid stem cell lineage tracing, a process that can be suppressed by exogenous gastrin treatment. This hormonal suppression is associated with a marked reduction in gastric cancer mutational load, as revealed by exomic sequencing. Taken together, our results show that gastric tumorigenesis is associated with increased symmetric cell division that facilitates mutation and is suppressed by GPCR signaling.

Keywords: Cck2r; asymmetric division; carcinogenesis; gastric neoplasm; gastrin; gene mutation; notch signaling; stem cell; symmetric division.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis*
  • Cell Division
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells*
  • Stomach