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Nature cell biology

Inactivation of a Gα(s)-PKA tumour suppressor pathway in skin stem cells initiates basal-cell carcinogenesis.


PMID 25961504

Abstract

Genomic alterations in GNAS, the gene coding for the Gαs heterotrimeric G protein, are associated with a large number of human diseases. Here, we explored the role of Gαs on stem cell fate decisions by using the mouse epidermis as a model system. Conditional epidermal deletion of Gnas or repression of PKA signalling caused a remarkable expansion of the stem cell compartment, resulting in rapid basal-cell carcinoma formation. In contrast, inducible expression of active Gαs in the epidermis caused hair follicle stem cell exhaustion and hair loss. Mechanistically, we found that Gαs-PKA disruption promotes the cell autonomous Sonic Hedgehog pathway stimulation and Hippo signalling inhibition, resulting in the non-canonical activation of GLI and YAP1. Our study highlights an important tumour suppressive function of Gαs-PKA, limiting the proliferation of epithelial stem cells and maintaining proper hair follicle homeostasis. These findings could have broad implications in multiple pathophysiological conditions, including cancer.

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