The R2TP chaperone cooperates with HSP90 to integrate newly synthesized proteins into multi-subunit complexes, yet its role in tissue homeostasis is unknown. Here, we generated conditional, inducible knock-out mice for Rpap3 to inactivate this core component of R2TP in the intestinal epithelium. In adult mice, Rpap3 invalidation caused destruction of the small intestinal epithelium and death within 10 days. Levels of R2TP substrates decreased, with strong effects on mTOR, ATM and ATR. Proliferative stem cells and progenitors deficient for Rpap3 failed to import RNA polymerase II into the nucleus and they induced p53, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Post-mitotic, differentiated cells did not display these alterations, suggesting that R2TP clients are preferentially built in actively proliferating cells. In addition, high RPAP3 levels in colorectal tumors from patients correlate with bad prognosis. Here, we show that, in the intestine, the R2TP chaperone plays essential roles in normal and tumoral proliferation.
© 2021. The Author(s).