REGγ drives Lgr5+ stem cells to potentiate radiation induced intestinal regeneration

Sci China Life Sci. 2022 Aug;65(8):1608-1623. doi: 10.1007/s11427-021-2018-7. Epub 2021 Nov 19.


Leucine-rich repeat containing G protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5), a marker of intestinal stem cells (ISCs), is considered to play key roles in tissue homoeostasis and regeneration after acute radiation injury. However, the activation of Lgr5 by integrated signaling pathways upon radiation remains poorly understood. Here, we show that irradiation of mice with whole-body depletion or conditional ablation of REGγ in Lgr5+ stem cell impairs proliferation of intestinal crypts, delaying regeneration of intestine epithelial cells. Mechanistically, REGγ enhances transcriptional activation of Lgr5 via the potentiation of both Wnt and Hippo signal pathways. TEAD4 alone or cooperates with TCF4, a transcription factor mediating Wnt signaling, to enhance the expression of Lgr5. Silencing TEAD4 drastically attenuated β-catenin/TCF4 dependent expression of Lgr5. Together, our study reveals how REGγ controls Lgr5 expression and expansion of Lgr5+ stem cells in the regeneration of intestinal epithelial cells. Thus, REGγ proteasome appears to be a potential therapeutic target for radiation-induced gastrointestinal disorders.

Keywords: Lgr5; REGγ; Wnt; YAP; intestinal stem cell.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines*
  • Mice
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex* / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Stem Cells
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway


  • Autoantigens
  • Ki antigen
  • Lgr5 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex