Homeostasis of the epithelium is depend-ent on the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway, which regulates the proliferation of intestinal stem cells. The gain of function mutations in the beta-catenin gene leads to rapid cell proliferation and malignant growth in the epithelium. In addition, the maintenance of these stem cells appears to be linked to mesenchymal-derived factors. Although the communication between epithelial and mesenchyme cell populations remains uncharacterized, understanding this mechanism will help us further understand the various pathways involved in tumor initiation processes. Our results show that the communi-cation between the mesenchyme and epithelium during transformation is influenced by varying levels of protein-expressing genes including Wnt2b, Grem1, and Bmp6.
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