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Transcriptome analysis of PDGFR alpha(+) cells identifies T-type Ca2+ channel CACNA1G as a new pathological marker for PDGFR alpha(+) cell hyperplasia
AuthorHa, Se E.
Lee, Moon Y.
Jorgensen, Brian G.
Park, Paul J.
Sasse, Kent C.
Becker, Laren S.
Sanders, Kenton M.
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Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFR alpha)(+) cells are distributed into distinct morphological groups within the serosal, muscular, and submucosal layers as well as the myenteric and deep muscular plexi. PDGFR alpha(+) cells directly interact with interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) and smooth muscle cells (SMC) in gastrointestinal smooth muscle tissue. These three cell types, SMC, ICC, and PDGFR alpha(+) cells (SIP cells), form an electrical syncytium, which dynamically regulates gastrointestinal motility. We have previously reported the transcriptomes of SMC and ICC. To complete the SIP cell transcriptome project, we obtained transcriptome data from jejunal and colonic PDGFR alpha(+) cells. The PDGFR alpha(+) cell transcriptome data were added to the Smooth Muscle Genome Browser that we previously built for the genome-scale gene expression data of ICC and SMC. This browser provides a comprehensive reference for all transcripts expressed in SIP cells. By analyzing the transcriptomes, we have identified a unique set of PDGFR alpha(+) cell signature genes, growth factors, transcription factors, epigenetic enzymes/regulators, receptors, protein kinases/phosphatases, and ion channels/transporters. We demonstrated that the low voltage-dependent T-type Ca2+ channel Cacna1g gene was particularly expressed in PDGFR alpha(+) cells in the intestinal serosal layer in mice. Expression of this gene was significantly induced in the hyperplasic PDGFR alpha(+) cells of obstructed small intestine in mice. This gene was also over-expressed in colorectal cancer, Crohn's disease, and diverticulitis in human patients. Taken together, our data suggest that Cacna1g exclusively expressed in serosal PDGFR alpha(+) cells is a new pathological marker for gastrointestinal diseases.