Epigenetic regulation of DLG1, via KAiSO, alters mitotic spindle polarity and promotes intestinal tumorigenesis

Madeleine A. Young, Stephanie May, Angelos Damo, Young So Yoon, Man Wook Hur, Wojiech Swat, Lee Parry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Both alterations to the epigenome and loss of polarity have been linked to cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. It has previously been demonstrated that loss of the epigenetic reader protein Kaiso suppresses intestinal tumorigenesis in the Apc þ/min mouse model, in which altered polarity plays a key role. Thus, we investigated the link between Kaiso deficiency, polarity, and suppression of intestinal tumorigenesis. We used Kaiso-deficient mice to conditionally delete Apc within the intestinal epithelia and demonstrated upregulation of the spindle polarity genes Dlg1 and Dlgap1. To understand the role of Dlg1, we generated Villin-creApc þ/min Dlg1 fl x/fl x Kaiso/y mice to analyze gene expression, survival, tumor burden, and spindle orientation. In vivo analysis of the Dlg1-deficient intestine revealed improper orientation of mitotic spindles and a decreased rate of cellular migration. Loss of Dlg1 decreased survival in Apc þ/min mice, validating its role as a tumor suppressor in the intestine. Significantly, the increased survival of Apc þ/min Kaiso y/ mice was shown to be dependent on Dlg1 expression. Taken together, these data indicate that maintenance of spindle polarity in the intestinal crypt requires appropriate regulation of Dlg1 expression. As Dlg1 loss leads to incorrect spindle orientation and a delay in cells transiting the intestinal crypt. We propose that the delayed exit from the crypt increase the window in which spontaneous mutations can become fixed, producing a "tumor-permissive" environment, without an increase in mutation rate. Implications: Loss of mitotic spindle polarity delays the exit of cells from the intestinal crypt and promotes a tumorigenic environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-696
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


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