P-Cadherin Regulates Intestinal Epithelial Cell Migration and Mucosal Repair, but Is Dispensable for Colitis Associated Colon Cancer

Nayden G. Naydenov, Susana Lechuga, Ajay Zalavadia, Pranab K. Mukherjee, Ilyssa O. Gordon, David Skvasik, Petra Vidovic, Emina Huang, Florian Rieder, Andrei I. Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recurrent chronic mucosal inflammation, a characteristic of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), perturbs the intestinal epithelial homeostasis resulting in formation of mucosal wounds and, in most severe cases, leads to colitis-associated colon cancer (CAC). The altered structure of epithelial cell-cell adhesions is a hallmark of intestinal inflammation contributing to epithelial injury, repair, and tumorigenesis. P-cadherin is an important adhesion protein, poorly expressed in normal intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) but upregulated in inflamed and injured mucosa. The goal of this study was to investigate the roles of P-cadherin in regulating intestinal inflammation and CAC. P-cadherin expression was markedly induced in the colonic epithelium of human IBD patients and CAC tissues. The roles of P-cadherin were investigated in P-cadherin null mice using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and an azoxymethane (AOM)/DSS induced CAC. Although P-cadherin knockout did not affect the severity of acute DSS colitis, P-cadherin null mice exhibited faster recovery after colitis. No significant differences in the number of colonic tumors were observed in P-cadherin null and control mice. Consistently, the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of P-cadherin in human IEC accelerated epithelial wound healing without affecting cell proliferation. The accelerated migration of P-cadherin depleted IEC was driven by activation of Src kinases, Rac1 GTPase and myosin II motors and was accompanied by transcriptional reprogramming of the cells. Our findings highlight P-cadherin as a negative regulator of IEC motility in vitro and mucosal repair in vivo. In contrast, this protein is dispensable for IEC proliferation and CAC development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1467
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • cadherins
  • cell migration
  • cell-cell adhesions
  • colon cancer
  • epithelial cells
  • mucosal restitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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