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The connection between inflammation and cancer was initially recognized by Rudolf Virchow in the nineteenth century. During the last decades, a large body of evidence has provided support to his hypothesis, and now inflammation is recognized as one of the hallmarks of cancer, both in etiopathogenesis and ongoing tumor growth. Infection with the pathogen Helicobacter pylori is the primary causal factor in 90% of gastric cancer (GC) cases. As we increase our understanding of how chronic inflammation develops in the stomach and contributes to carcinogenesis, there is increasing interest in targeting cancer-promoting inflammation as a strategy to treat GC. Moreover, once cancer develops and anti-cancer immune responses are suppressed, there is evidence of a substantial shift in the microenvironment and new targets for immune therapy emerge. In this chapter, we provide insight into inflammation-related factors, including T lymphocytes, macrophages, pro-inflammatory chemokines, and cytokines, which promote H. pylori-associated GC initiation and growth. While intervening with chronic inflammation is not a new practice in rheumatology or gastroenterology, this approach has not been fully explored for its potential to prevent carcinogenesis or to contribute to the treatment of GC. This review highlights current and possible strategies for therapeutic intervention including (i) targeting pro-inflammatory mediators, (ii) targeting growth factors and pathways involved in angiogenesis in the gastric tumor microenvironment, and (iii) enhancing anti-tumor immunity. In addition, we highlight a significant number of clinical trials and discuss the importance of individual tumor characterization toward offering personalized immune-related therapy.
Infection by is the primary cause of gastric adenocarcinoma. The most potent virulence factor is cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), which is translocated by a type 4 secretion system (T4SS) into gastric epithelial cells and activates oncogenic signaling pathways. The gene encodes for a key component of the T4SS and can undergo gene rearrangements. We have shown that the cancer chemopreventive agent α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), known to inhibit the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, reduces -mediated gastric cancer incidence in Mongolian gerbils. In the present study, we questioned whether DFMO might directly affect pathogenicity. We show that output strains isolated from gerbils treated with DFMO exhibit reduced ability to translocate CagA in gastric epithelial cells. Further, we frequently detected genomic modifications in the middle repeat region of the gene of output strains from DFMO-treated animals, which were associated with alterations in the CagY protein. Gerbils did not develop carcinoma when infected with a DFMO output strain containing rearranged or the parental strain in which the wild-type was replaced by with DFMO-induced rearrangements. Lastly, we demonstrate that in vitro treatment of by DFMO induces oxidative DNA damage, expression of the DNA repair enzyme MutS2, and mutations in , demonstrating that DFMO directly affects genomic stability. Deletion of abrogated the ability of DFMO to induce rearrangements directly. In conclusion, DFMO-induced oxidative stress in leads to genomic alterations and attenuates virulence.
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is one of the strongest risk factors for development of gastric cancer. Although these bacteria infect approximately half of the world's population, only a small fraction of infected individuals develops gastric malignancies. Interactions between host and bacterial virulence factors are complex and interrelated, making it difficult to elucidate specific processes associated with H. pylori-induced tumorigenesis. In this study, we found that H. pylori inhibits p14ARF tumor suppressor by inducing its degradation. This effect was found to be strain-specific. Downregulation of p14ARF induced by H. pylori leads to inhibition of autophagy in a p53-independent manner in infected cells. We identified TRIP12 protein as E3 ubiquitin ligase that is upregulated by H. pylori, inducing ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of p14ARF protein. Using isogenic H. pylori mutants, we found that induction of TRIP12 is mediated by bacterial virulence factor CagA. Increased expression of TRIP12 protein was found in infected gastric epithelial cells in vitro and human gastric mucosa of H. pylori-infected individuals. In conclusion, our data demonstrate a new mechanism of ARF inhibition that may affect host-bacteria interactions and facilitate tumorigenic transformation in the stomach.
, a Gram-negative bacterium, is a well-known risk factor for gastric cancer. vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA) is a secreted pore-forming toxin that induces a wide range of cellular responses. Like many other bacterial toxins, VacA has been hypothesized to utilize lipid rafts to gain entry into host cells. Here, we used giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) as a model system to understand the preferential partitioning of VacA into lipid rafts. We show that a wild-type (WT) toxin predominantly associates with the raft phase. Acid activation of VacA enhances binding of the toxin to GPMVs but is not required for raft partitioning. VacA mutant proteins with alterations at the amino terminus (resulting in impaired membrane channel formation) and a nonoligomerizing VacA mutant protein retain the ability to preferentially associate with lipid rafts. Consistent with these results, the isolated VacA p55 domain was capable of binding to lipid rafts. We conclude that the affinity of VacA for rafts is independent of its capacity to oligomerize or form membrane channels.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
Current clinical treatment of infection, the main etiological factor in the development of gastritis, gastric ulcers, and gastric carcinoma, requires a combination of at least two antibiotics and one proton pump inhibitor. However, such triple therapy suffers from progressively decreased therapeutic efficacy due to the drug resistance and undesired killing of the commensal bacteria due to poor selectivity. Here, we report the development of antimicrobial polypeptide-based monotherapy, which can specifically kill under acidic pH in the stomach while inducing minimal toxicity to commensal bacteria under physiological pH. Specifically, we designed a class of pH-sensitive, helix-coil conformation transitionable antimicrobial polypeptides (HCT-AMPs) (PGA)--(PHLG-MHH), bearing randomly distributed negatively charged glutamic acid and positively charged poly(γ-6--(methyldihexylammonium)hexyl-l-glutamate) (PHLG-MHH) residues. The HCT-AMPs showed unappreciable toxicity at physiological pH when they adopted random coiled conformation. Under acidic condition in the stomach, they transformed to the helical structure and exhibited potent antibacterial activity against , including clinically isolated drug-resistant strains. After oral gavage, the HCT-AMPs afforded comparable killing efficacy to the triple-therapy approach while inducing minimal toxicity against normal tissues and commensal bacteria, in comparison with the remarkable killing of commensal bacteria by 65% and 86% in the ileal contents and feces, respectively, following triple therapy. This strategy renders an effective approach to specifically target and kill in the stomach while not harming the commensal bacteria/normal tissues.
Objectives - To determine whether histologic features could help identify gastric carcinomas with lymphoid stroma associated with microsatellite instability (MSI) (ie, "medullary carcinomas"), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (termed lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas in other organ systems), or neither.
Methods - We identified 17 solid-type gastric carcinomas with lymphoid stroma, assessed EBV and MSI status, and compared features across groups. We also compared them with 51 solid-type colorectal adenocarcinomas.
Results - In the stomach, EBV-associated carcinomas (n = 8) contained intratumoral germinal centers (P = .024) and eosinophils (P = .030) and lacked necrosis (P = .019) compared with MSI-associated carcinomas (n = 5) and non-EBV, non-MSI carcinomas (n = 4). In the colon, MSI-driven carcinomas (n = 40) more frequently contained intratumoral lymphocytes (P = .017) and neutrophils (P = .0050) and less often metastasized to distant sites (P = .0040) than poorly differentiated carcinomas lacking MSI (n = 11).
Conclusions - Morphology may help classify gastric carcinomas with lymphoid stroma, although ancillary testing appears more reliable. Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma and medullary carcinoma should not be used interchangeably.
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VacA is a channel-forming toxin unrelated to other known bacterial toxins. Most strains contain a gene, but there is marked variation among strains in VacA toxin activity. This variation is attributable to strain-specific variations in VacA amino acid sequences, as well as variations in the levels of VacA transcription and secretion. In this review, we discuss epidemiologic studies showing an association between specific allelic types and gastric cancer, as well as studies that have used animal models to investigate VacA activities relevant to gastric cancer. We also discuss the mechanisms by which VacA-induced cellular alterations may contribute to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer.