R-Spondin chromosome rearrangements drive Wnt-dependent tumour initiation and maintenance in the intestine

Abstract

Defining the genetic drivers of cancer progression is a key in understanding disease biology and developing effective targeted therapies. Chromosome rearrangements are a common feature of human malignancies, but whether they represent bona fide cancer drivers and therapeutically actionable targets, requires functional testing. Here, we describe the generation of transgenic, inducible CRISPR-based mouse systems to engineer and study recurrent colon cancer-associated EIF3E-RSPO2 and PTPRK-RSPO3 chromosome rearrangements in vivo. We show that both Rspo2 and Rspo3 fusion events are sufficient to initiate hyperplasia and tumour development in vivo, without additional cooperating genetic events. Rspo-fusion tumours are entirely Wnt-dependent, as treatment with an inhibitor of Wnt secretion, LGK974, drives rapid tumour clearance from the intestinal mucosa without effects on normal intestinal crypts. Altogether, our study provides direct evidence that endogenous Rspo2 and Rspo3 chromosome rearrangements can initiate and maintain tumour development, and indicate a viable therapeutic window for LGK974 treatment of RSPO-fusion cancers.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15945

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Han2017RSpondinCR, title={R-Spondin chromosome rearrangements drive Wnt-dependent tumour initiation and maintenance in the intestine}, author={Teng Han and Emma M. Schatoff and Charles Murphy and Maria Paz Zafra and John E. Wilkinson and Olivier Elemento and Lukas E. Dow}, booktitle={Nature communications}, year={2017} }