Abstract: P57Kip2 is a cyclin/CDK inhibitor and a negative regulator of cell proliferation. Remarkably, p57 is the only CDK inhibitor required for embryonic development and p57 knockout mice display multiple developmental anomalies, including intestinal shortening. Here, we report that p57 regulates intestinal stem cell (ISC) fate and proliferation in a CDK-independent manner during intestinal development. In absence of p57, proliferation in intestinal crypts is markedly increased and genetic labelling experiments revealed an amplification of transit amplifying cells and of Hopx+ ISCs, which are no longer quiescent. On the other hand, Lgr5+ crypt-base columnar (CBC) cells were unaffected. RNA-Seq analyses of Hopx+ ISCs show major changes in gene expression in absence of p57. We found that p57 binds to and inhibits the activity of Ascl2, a transcription factor critical for ISC specification and maintenance, by participating in the recruitment of a corepressor complex to Ascl2 target gene promoters. Thus, our data suggests that during intestinal development, p57 plays a key role in maintaining Hopx+ stem cell quiescence and repressing the ISC phenotype outside of the crypt bottom by inhibiting the transcription factor Ascl2 in a CDK-independent manner.

Journal Link: 10.1101/2022.09.09.507138 Journal Link: Publisher Website Journal Link: Download PDF Journal Link: Google Scholar