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In a recently published letter,1 Dr Beaulieu questions our recent publication suggesting that α6 integrin acts as a tumour suppressor gene in colorectal cancer (CRC),2 given the apparent antagonistic role of α6A and α6B integrin isoforms in the intestine. We thank him for raising this important issue and welcome the opportunity of clarifying the topic. We showed that mice failing to express the α6 integrin (both α6A and α6B isoforms) specifically in intestinal epithelial cells (α6ΔIEC) spontaneously develop fully penetrant colitis and adenocarcinoma afterwards.2 These mice display epithelium detachment from the basement membrane, followed …
Contributors ADA wrote the first draft, MC and ML edited it, and PS-A revised it.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.