Kaiso-induced intestinal inflammation is preceded by diminished E-cadherin expression and intestinal integrity
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Chronic intestinal inflammation contributes to pathologies such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer. While the precise etiology remains controversial, IBD is believed to manifest as a result of various factors. We previously reported that intestinal-specific overexpression of the transcription factor Kaiso results in an intestinal inflammatory response; however, the cause of this inflammation is unknown. To elucidate the underlying mechanism(s) of the Kaiso-mediated intestinal inflammatory phenotype, we evaluated two independent transgenic mouse lines that express varying levels of Kaiso (KaisoTg). Histological analyses of KaisoTg mice revealed intestinal damage including thickening of the mucosa, intestinal "lesions" and crypt abscesses, which are reminiscent of IBD pathology. Additionally, higher Kaiso levels induced intestinal neutrophilia as early as 12 weeks, which worsened as the mice aged. Notably, the Kaiso-induced intestinal inflammation correlated with a leaky intestinal barrier and mis-regulation of E-cadherin expression and localization. Interestingly, Kaiso overexpression resulted in reduced proliferation but enhanced migration of intestinal epithelial cells prior to the onset of inflammation. Collectively, these data suggest that Kaiso plays a role in regulating intestinal epithelial cell integrity and function, dysregulation of which contributes to a chronic inflammatory phenotype as mice age.