High Endogenous Expression of Chitinase 3-Like 1 and Excessive Epithelial Proliferation with Colonic Tumor Formation in MOLF/EiJ Mice.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) development is mediated by uncontrolled survival and proliferation of tumor progenitor cells. Using animal models to identify and study host-derived factors that underlie this process can aid interventions in preventing tumor expansion and metastasis. In healthy steady states in humans and mice (e.g. C57BL/6 strain), colonic Chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) gene expression is undetectable. However, this expression can be induced during intestinal inflammation and tumorigenesis where CHI3L1 plays an important role in tissue restitution and cell proliferation. Here, we show that a wild-derived mouse strain MOLF/EiJ expresses high levels of colonic epithelial CHI3L1 at the steady state due to several nucleotide polymorphisms in the proximal promoter regions of the CHI3L1 gene. Interestingly, these mice spontaneously developed polypoid nodules in the colon with signs of immune cell infiltrations at steady state. The CHI3L1 positive colonic epithelial cells were highly proliferative and exhibited malignant transformation and expansion when exposed in vivo to azoxymethane, one of the well-known colonic carcinogens.
AuthorsDaren Low, Arianna K DeGruttola, Alexander Poltrak, Atsushi Mizoguchi, Mari Mino-Kenudson, Emiko Mizoguchi
JournalPloS one (PLoS One) Vol. 10 Issue 10 Pg. e0139149 ( 2015) ISSN: 1932-6203 [Electronic] United States
PMID26440614 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)

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