NOX1/NADPH Oxidase Expressed in Colonic Macrophages Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Colonic Inflammation in Trinitrobenzene Sulfonic Acid-Induced Murine Colitis.
The homeostatic self-renewal of the colonic epithelium requires coordinated regulation of the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch signaling pathways to control proliferation and lineage commitment of multipotent stem cells. However, the molecular mechanisms by which the Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch1 pathways interplay in controlling cell proliferation and fate in the colon are poorly understood. Here we show that NADPH oxidase 1 (NOX1), a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-producing oxidase that is highly expressed in colonic epithelial cells, is a pivotal determinant of cell proliferation and fate that integrates Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch1 signals. NOX1-deficient mice reveal a massive conversion of progenitor cells into postmitotic goblet cells at the cost of colonocytes due to the concerted repression of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch1 signaling. This conversion correlates with the following: (i) the redox-dependent activation of the dual phosphatase PTEN, causing the inactivation of the Wnt pathway effector beta-catenin, and (ii) the downregulation of Notch1 signaling that provokes derepression of mouse atonal homolog 1 (Math1) expression. We conclude that NOX1 controls the balance between goblet and absorptive cell types in the colon by coordinately modulating PI3K/AKT/Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch1 signaling. This finding provides the molecular basis for the role of NOX1 in cell proliferation and postmitotic differentiation.