The PDGFRα+ cell transcriptome data were added to the Smooth Muscle Genome Browser that they 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, they have identified a unique set of PDGFRα+ cell signature genes, growth factors, transcription factors, epigenetic enzymes/regulators, receptors, protein kinases/phosphatases, and ion channels/transporters. They demonstrated that the low voltage-dependent T-type Ca2+ channel Cacna1g gene was particularly expressed in PDGFRα+ cells in the intestinal serosal layer in mice. Expression of this gene was significantly induced in the hyperplasic PDGFRα+ 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, their data suggest that Cacna1g exclusively expressed in serosal PDGFRα+ cells is a new pathological marker for gastrointestinal diseases.