Comparative Study of Organoids from Patient-Derived Normal and Tumor Colon and Rectal Tissue.
ABSTRACT: Colon and rectal tumors, often referred to as colorectal cancer, show different gene expression patterns in studies that analyze whole tissue biopsies containing a mix of tumor and non-tumor cells. To better characterize colon and rectal tumors, we investigated the gene expression profile of organoids generated from endoscopic biopsies of rectal tumors and adjacent normal colon and rectum mucosa from therapy-naive rectal cancer patients. We also studied the effect of vitamin D on these organoid types. Gene profiling was performed by RNA-sequencing. Organoids from a normal colon and rectum had a shared gene expression profile that profoundly differed from that of rectal tumor organoids. We identified a group of genes of the biosynthetic machinery as rectal tumor organoid-specific, including those encoding the RNA polymerase II subunits POLR2H and POLR2J. The active vitamin D metabolite 1?,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3/calcitriol upregulated stemness-related genes (LGR5, LRIG1, SMOC2, and MSI1) in normal rectum organoids, while it downregulated differentiation marker genes (TFF2 and MUC2). Normal colon and rectum organoids share similar gene expression patterns and respond similarly to calcitriol. Rectal tumor organoids display distinct and heterogeneous gene expression profiles, with differences with respect to those of colon tumor organoids, and respond differently to calcitriol than normal rectum organoids.
Project description:Intestine is a major target of vitamin D and several studies indicate an association between vitamin D deficiency and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), but also increased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk and mortality. However, the putative effects of 1?,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol), the active vitamin D metabolite, on human colonic stem cells are unknown. Here we show by immunohistochemistry and RNAscope in situ hybridization that vitamin D receptor (VDR) is unexpectedly expressed in LGR5+ colon stem cells in human tissue and in normal and tumor organoid cultures generated from patient biopsies. Interestingly, normal and tumor organoids respond differentially to calcitriol with profound and contrasting changes in their transcriptomic profiles. In normal organoids, calcitriol upregulates stemness-related genes, such as LGR5, SMOC2, LRIG1, MSI1, PTK7, and MEX3A, and inhibits cell proliferation. In contrast, in tumor organoids calcitriol has little effect on stemness-related genes while it induces a differentiated phenotype, and variably reduces cell proliferation. Concordantly, electron microscopy showed that calcitriol does not affect the blastic undifferentiated cell phenotype in normal organoids but it induces a series of differentiated features in tumor organoids. Our results constitute the first demonstration of a regulatory role of vitamin D on human colon stem cells, indicating a homeostatic effect on colon epithelium with relevant implications in IBD and CRC.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Radiation-induced rectal epithelial damage is a very common side effect of pelvic radiotherapy and often compromise the life quality and treatment outcome in patients with pelvic malignancies. Unlike small bowel and colon, effect of radiation in rectal stem cells has not been explored extensively. Here we demonstrate that Lgr5-positive rectal stem cells are radiosensitive and organoid-based transplantation of rectal stem cells mitigates radiation damage in rectum.<h4>Methods</h4>C57Bl6 male mice (JAX) at 24?h were exposed to pelvic irradiation (PIR) to determine the radiation effect in pelvic epithelium. Effect of PIR on Lgr5-positive rectal stem cells (RSCs) was determined in Lgr5-EGFP-Cre-ERT2 mice exposed to PIR. Effect of PIR or clinically relevant fractionated PIR on regenerative response of Lgr5-positive RSCs was examined by lineage tracing assay using Lgr5-eGFP-IRES-CreERT2; Rosa26-CAG-tdTomato mice with tamoxifen administration to activate Cre recombinase and thereby marking the ISC and their respective progeny. Ex vivo three-dimensional organoid cultures were developed from Lgr5-EGFP-Cre-ERT2 mice. Organoid growth was determined by quantifying the budding crypt/total crypt ratio. Organoids from Lgr5-EGFP-ires-CreERT2-TdT mice were transplanted in C57Bl6 male mice exposed to PIR. Engraftment and repopulation of Lgr5-positive RSCs were determined after tamoxifen administration to activate Cre recombinase in recipient mice. Statistical analysis was performed using Log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test and paired two-tail t test.<h4>Result</h4>Exposure to pelvic irradiation significantly damaged rectal epithelium with the loss of Lgr5+ve rectal stem cells. Radiosensitivity of rectal epithelium was also observed with exposure to clinically relevant fractionated pelvic irradiation. Regenerative capacity of Lgr5+ve rectal stem cells was compromised in response to fractionated pelvic irradiation. Ex vivo organoid study demonstrated that Lgr5+ve rectal stem cells are sensitive to both single and fractionated radiation. Organoid-based transplantation of Lgr5+ve rectal stem cells promotes repair and regeneration of rectal epithelium.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Lgr5-positive rectal stem cells are radiosensitive and contribute to radiation-induced rectal epithelial toxicity. Transplantation of Lgr5-positive rectal stem cells mitigates radiation-induced rectal injury and promotes repair and regeneration process in rectum.
Project description:We have established three-dimensional (3D) organoids from healthy colon and rectum tissue and from tumor tissue of patients with rectal cancer. Global transcriptomic analyses reveal differences in gene expression between these stem cell-derived cultures and distinct response to vitamin D.
Project description:Organoid technology provides the possibility of culturing patient-derived colon tissue and colorectal cancers (CRCs) while maintaining all functional and phenotypic characteristics. Labeling stem cells, especially in normal and benign tumor organoids of human colon, is challenging and therefore limits maximal exploitation of organoid libraries for human stem cell research. Here, we developed STAR (stem cell Ascl2 reporter), a minimal enhancer/promoter element that reports transcriptional activity of ASCL2, a master regulator of LGR5+ intestinal stem cells. Using lentiviral infection, STAR drives specific expression in stem cells of normal organoids and in multiple engineered and patient-derived CRC organoids of different genetic makeup. STAR reveals that differentiation hierarchies and the potential for cell fate plasticity are present at all stages of human CRC development. Organoid technology, in combination with the user-friendly nature of STAR, will facilitate basic research into human adult stem cell biology.
Project description:Tumor sidedness has emerged as an important prognostic and predictive factor in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Recent studies demonstrate that patients with advanced right-sided colon cancers have a worse prognosis than those with left-sided colon or rectal cancers, and these patient subgroups respond differently to biological therapies. Historically, management of patients with metastatic colon and rectal cancers has been similar, and colon and rectal cancer patients have been grouped together in large clinical trials. Clearly, the differences in molecular biology among right-sided colon, left-sided colon, and rectal cancers should be further studied in order to account for disparities in clinical outcomes. We profiled 10,570 colorectal tumors (of which 2,413 were identified as arising from the left colon, right colon, or rectum) using next-generation sequencing, immunohistochemistry, chromogenic in-situ hybridization, and fragment analysis (Caris Life Sciences, Phoenix, AZ). Right-sided colon cancers had higher rates of microsatellite instability, more frequent aberrant activation of the EGFR pathway including higher BRAF and PIK3CA mutation rates, and increased mutational burden compared to left-sided colon and rectal cancers. Rectal cancers had higher rates of TOPO1 expression and Her2/neu amplification compared to both left- and right-sided colon cancers. Molecular variations among right-sided colon, left-sided colon, and rectal tumors may contribute to differences in clinical behavior. The site of tumor origin (left colon, right colon, or rectum) should certainly be considered when selecting treatment regimens and stratifying patients for future clinical trials.
Project description:In vivo interrogation of the function of genes implicated in tumorigenesis is limited by the need to generate and cross germline mutant mice. Here we describe approaches to model colorectal cancer (CRC) and metastasis, which rely on in situ gene editing and orthotopic organoid transplantation in mice without cancer-predisposing mutations. Autochthonous tumor formation is induced by CRISPR-Cas9-based editing of the Apc and Trp53 tumor suppressor genes in colon epithelial cells and by orthotopic transplantation of Apc-edited colon organoids. Apc?/?;KrasG12D/+;Trp53?/? (AKP) mouse colon organoids and human CRC organoids engraft in the distal colon and metastasize to the liver. Finally, we apply the orthotopic transplantation model to characterize the clonal dynamics of Lgr5+ stem cells and demonstrate sequential activation of an oncogene in established colon adenomas. These experimental systems enable rapid in vivo characterization of cancer-associated genes and reproduce the entire spectrum of tumor progression and metastasis.
Project description:Patient-derived tumor organoids closely resemble original patient tumors. We conducted this co-clinical trial with treatment-naive rectal cancer patients and matched patient-derived tumor organoids to determine whether a correlation exists between experimental results obtained after irradiation in patients and organoids. Between November 2017 and March 2020, we prospectively enrolled 33 patients who were diagnosed with mid-to-lower rectal adenocarcinoma based on endoscopic biopsy findings. We constructed a prediction model through a machine learning algorithm using clinical and experimental radioresponse data. Our data confirmed that patient-derived tumor organoids closely recapitulated original tumors, both pathophysiologically and genetically. Radiation responses in patients were positively correlated with those in patient-derived tumor organoids. Our machine learning-based prediction model showed excellent performance. In the prediction model for good responders trained using the random forest algorithm, the area under the curve, accuracy, and kappa value were 0.918, 81.5%, and 0.51, respectively. In the prediction model for poor responders, the area under the curve, accuracy, and kappa value were 0.971, 92.1%, and 0.75, respectively. Our patient-derived tumor organoid-based radiosensitivity model could lead to more advanced precision medicine for treating patients with rectal cancer.
Project description:Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma (GEP-NEC) is a poorly understood disease with limited treatment options. A better understanding of this disease would greatly benefit from the availability of representative preclinical models. Here, we present the potential of tumor organoids, three-dimensional cultures of tumor cells, to model GEP-NEC. We established three GEP-NEC organoid lines, originating from the stomach and colon, and characterized them using DNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry. Organoids largely resembled the original tumor in expression of synaptophysin, chromogranin and Ki-67. Models derived from tumors containing both neuroendocrine and non-neuroendocrine components were at risk of overgrowth by non-neuroendocrine tumor cells. Organoids were derived from patients treated with cisplatin and everolimus and for the three patients studied, organoid chemosensitivity paralleled clinical response. We demonstrate the feasibility of establishing NEC organoid lines and their potential applications. Organoid culture has the potential to greatly extend the repertoire of preclinical models for GEP-NEC, supporting drug development for this difficult-to-treat tumor type.
Project description:The intestine is maintained by stem cells located at the base of crypts and distinguished by the expression of LGR5. Genetically engineered mouse models have provided a wealth of information about intestinal stem cells, whereas less is known about human intestinal stem cells owing to difficulty detecting and isolating these cells. We established an organoid repository from patient-derived adenomas, adenocarcinomas and normal colon, which we analyzed for variants in 71 colorectal cancer (CRC)-associated genes. Normal and neoplastic colon tissue organoids were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and fluorescent-activated cell sorting for LGR5. LGR5-positive cells were isolated from four adenoma organoid lines and were subjected to RNA sequencing. We found that LGR5 expression in the epithelium and stroma was associated with tumor stage, and by integrating functional experiments with LGR5-sorted cell RNA sequencing data from adenoma and normal organoids, we found correlations between LGR5 and CRC-specific genes, including dickkopf WNT signaling pathway inhibitor 4 (DKK4) and SPARC-related modular calcium binding 2 (SMOC2). Collectively, this work provides resources, methods and new markers to isolate and study stem cells in human tissue homeostasis and carcinogenesis.