Research Article

URI is required to maintain intestinal architecture during ionizing radiation

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Science  31 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6443, eaaq1165
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq1165

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Illuminating intestine irradiation

High-dose radiation exposure affects multiple body systems, including the blood and the neurovascular system. Radiation can also cause severe intestinal toxicity, known as gastrointestinal syndrome (GIS). Working in mice, Chaves-Pérez et al. focused on the mechanisms underlying GIS. The molecular chaperone URI (unconventional prefoldin RPB5 interactor) labeled slow-cycling label-retaining (LR) cells, which are essential for organ regeneration following ionizing radiation. Reduced URI levels rendered LR cells highly proliferative via the activation of the β-catenin/c-MYC axis. Consequently, LR cells became radiosensitive, increasing GIS severity. Thus, URI protects LR cells to promote tissue regeneration in response to high-dose irradiation.

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