Cell Death & Disease: Impact of the thyroid hormone T3 and its nuclear receptor TRα1 on colon cancer stem cell phenotypes and response to chemotherapies (Penalva)


Colorectal cancers (CRCs) are highly heterogeneous and show a hierarchical organization, with cancer stem cells (CSCs) responsible for tumor development, maintenance, and drug resistance. Our previous studies showed the importance of thyroid hormone-dependent signaling on intestinal tumor development and progression through action on stem cells. These results have a translational value, given that the thyroid hormone nuclear receptor TRα1 is upregulated in human CRCs, including in the molecular subtypes associated with CSC features. We used an established spheroid model generated from the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line Caco2 to study the effects of T3 and TRα1 on spheroid formation, growth, and response to conventional chemotherapies. Our results show that T3 treatment and/or increased TRα1 expression in spheroids impaired the response to FOLFIRI and conferred a survival advantage. This was achieved by stimulating drug detoxification pathways and increasing ALDH1A1-expressing cells, including CSCs, within spheroids. These results suggest that clinical evaluation of the thyroid axis and assessing TRα1 levels in CRCs could help to select optimal therapeutic regimens for patients with CRC.

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Article Categories: Research Paper

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