Multiomics of Colorectal Cancer Organoids Reveals Putative Mediators of Cancer Progression Resulting from SMAD4 Inactivation

J Proteome Res. 2023 Jan 6;22(1):138-151. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.2c00551. Epub 2022 Nov 30.


The development of metastasis severely reduces the life expectancy of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Although loss of SMAD4 is a key event in CRC progression, the resulting changes in biological processes in advanced disease and metastasis are not fully understood. Here, we applied a multiomics approach to a CRC organoid model that faithfully reflects the metastasis-supporting effects of SMAD4 inactivation. We show that loss of SMAD4 results in decreased differentiation and activation of pro-migratory and cell proliferation processes, which is accompanied by the disruption of several key oncogenic pathways, including the TGFβ, WNT, and VEGF pathways. In addition, SMAD4 inactivation leads to increased secretion of proteins that are known to be involved in a variety of pro-metastatic processes. Finally, we show that one of the factors that is specifically secreted by SMAD4-mutant organoids─DKK3─reduces the antitumor effects of natural killer cells (NK cells). Altogether, our data provide new insights into the role of SMAD4 perturbation in advanced CRC.

Keywords: SMAD4; cancer progression; colorectal cancer; multiomics; secretomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Multiomics*
  • Smad4 Protein / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Smad4 Protein
  • SMAD4 protein, human