Research Papers:

Chitinase 3-like 1 induces survival and proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells during chronic inflammation and colitis-associated cancer by regulating S100A9

Daren Low _, Renuka Subramaniam, Li Lin, Tomoki Aomatsu, Atsushi Mizoguchi, Aylwin Ng, Arianna K. DeGruttola, Chun Geun Lee, Jack A. Elias, Akira Andoh, Mari Mino-Kenudson and Emiko Mizoguchi

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:36535-36550. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5440

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Daren Low1, Renuka Subramaniam1, Li Lin2, Tomoki Aomatsu3, Atsushi Mizoguchi4, Aylwin Ng1, Arianna K. DeGruttola1, Chun Geun Lee5, Jack A. Elias5, Akira Andoh3, Mari Mino-Kenudson6, Emiko Mizoguchi1,7

1Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

2Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institutes on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

3Division of Mucosal Immunology, Graduate School, Shiga University of Medical Science, Seta Tsukinowa, Otsu, Shiga, Japan

4Department of Immunology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan

5Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

6Department of Pathology & Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

7Center for The Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence to:

Emiko Mizoguchi, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: mammalian chitinase, colitis-associated cancer, bone marrow chimeras, RAGE, intestinal epithelial cells

Received: August 17, 2015     Accepted: September 16, 2015     Published: September 28, 2015


Many host-factors are inducibly expressed during the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), each having their unique properties, such as immune activation, bacterial clearance, and tissue repair/remodeling. Dysregulation/imbalance of these factors may have pathogenic effects that can contribute to colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Previous reports showed that IBD patients inducibly express colonic chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) that is further upregulated during CAC development. However, little is known about the direct pathogenic involvement of CHI3L1 in vivo. Here we demonstrate that CHI3L1 (aka Brp39) knockout (KO) mice treated with azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) developed severe colitis but lesser incidence of CAC as compared to that in wild-type (WT) mice. Highest CHI3L1 expression was found during the chronic phase of colitis, rather than the acute phase, and is essential to promote intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) proliferation in vivo. This CHI3L1-mediated cell proliferation/survival involves partial downregulation of the pro-apoptotic S100A9 protein that is highly expressed during the acute phase of colitis, by binding to the S100A9 receptor, RAGE (Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products). This interaction disrupts the S100A9-associated expression positive feedback loop during early immune activation, creating a CHI3L1hi S100A9low colonic environment, especially in the later phase of colitis, which promotes cell proliferation/survival of both normal IECs and tumor cells.

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