Oncogenic activation of PI3K induces progenitor cell differentiation to suppress epidermal growth.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Nature cell biology, Volume 20, Issue 11, p.1256-1266 (2018)

Keywords:

Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Genomics Core Facility, Scientific Imaging Core Facility

Abstract:

Oncogenic lesions are surprisingly common in morphologically and functionally normal human skin. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that suppress their cancer-driving potential to maintain tissue homeostasis are unknown. By employing assays for the direct and quantitative assessment of cell fate choices in vivo, we show that oncogenic activation of PI3K-AKT, the most commonly activated oncogenic pathway in cancer, promotes the differentiation and cell cycle exit of epidermal progenitors. As a result, oncogenic PI3K-AKT-activated epidermis exhibits a growth disadvantage even though its cells are more proliferative. We then sought to uncover the underlying mechanism behind oncogene-induced differentiation via a series of genetic screens in vivo. An AKT substrate, SH3RF1, is identified as a specific promoter of epidermal differentiation that has no effect on proliferation. Our study provides evidence for a direct, cell autonomous mechanism that can suppresses progenitor cell renewal and block clonal expansion of epidermal cells bearing a common and activating mutation in Pik3ca.