Hypothesis: Caco-2 cell rotational 3D mechanogenomic Turing patterns has clinical implications to colon crypts


Recent reports suggest that actomyosin meshwork act in a mechanobiological manner alter cell/nucleus/tissue morphology, including human colon epithelial Caco-2 cancer cells that form polarized 2D epithelium or 3D sphere/tube when placed in different culture conditions. We observed the rotational motion of the nucleus in Caco-2 cells in vitro that appears to be driven by actomyosin network prior to the formation of a differentiated confluent epithelium. Caco-2 cell monolayer preparations demonstrated 2D patterns consistent with Allan Turing's "gene morphogen" hypothesis based on live cell imaging analysis of apical tight junctions indicating the actomyosin meshwork. Caco-2 cells in 3D culture are frequently used as a model to study 3D epithelial morphogenesis involving symmetric and asymmetric cell divisions. Differentiation of Caco-2 cells in vitro demonstrated similarity to intestinal enterocyte differentiation along the human colon crypt axis. We observed rotational 3D patterns consistent with gene morphogens during Caco-2 cell differentiation. Single- to multi-cell ring/torus-shaped genomes were observed that were similar to complex fractal Turing patterns extending from a rotating torus centre in a spiral pattern consistent with gene morphogen motif. Rotational features of the epithelial cells may contribute to well-described differentiation from stem cells to the luminal colon epithelium along the crypt axis. This dataset may be useful to study the role of mechanobiological processes and the underlying molecular mechanisms as determinants of cellular and tissue architecture in space and time, which is the focal point of the 4D nucleome initiative.

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine