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OBJECTIVE - Intestinal metaplasia and spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) are considered neoplastic precursors of gastric adenocarcinoma and are both marked by gene expression alterations in comparison to normal stomach. Since miRNAs are important regulators of gene expression, we sought to investigate the role of miRNAs on the development of stomach metaplasias.
DESIGN - We performed miRNA profiling using a quantitative reverse transcription-PCR approach on laser capture microdissected human intestinal metaplasia and SPEM. Data integration of the miRNA profile with a previous mRNA profile from the same samples was performed to detect potential miRNA-mRNA regulatory circuits. Transfection of gastric cancer cell lines with selected miRNA mimics and inhibitors was used to evaluate their effects on the expression of putative targets and additional metaplasia markers.
RESULTS - We identified several genes as potential targets of miRNAs altered during metaplasia progression. We showed evidence that HNF4γ (upregulated in intestinal metaplasia) is targeted by miR-30 and that miR-194 targets a known co-regulator of HNF4 activity, NR2F2 (downregulated in intestinal metaplasia). Intestinal metaplasia markers such as VIL1, TFF2 and TFF3 were downregulated after overexpression of miR-30a in a HNF4γ-dependent manner. In addition, overexpression of HNF4γ was sufficient to induce the expression of VIL1 and this effect was potentiated by downregulation of NR2F2.
CONCLUSIONS - The interplay of the two transcription factors HNF4γ and NR2F2 and their coordinate regulation by miR-30 and miR-194, respectively, represent a miRNA to transcription factor network responsible for the expression of intestinal transcripts in stomach cell lineages during the development of intestinal metaplasia.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
BACKGROUND - Trefoil factor family (TFF) peptides are mucin-associated secretory products that are produced in the airways and gastrointestinal tract. These peptides appear to play an important role in mucosal healing and epithelial protection and are overexpressed in chronically inflamed gastrointestinal tissues. We hypothesize that TFF peptides may also be differentially expressed in the sinonasal tissue of patients with and without chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
METHODS - Ethmoid sinus tissue was obtained from patients with CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP) (n = 12), CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) (n = 12), and nondiseased controls (n = 7). Messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein were extracted from samples and expression of TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 were assessed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction qRT-PCR and Western blots, respectively. Tissue localization of TFF expression was confirmed using immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS - TFF1 and TFF3 were both highly expressed in sinonasal tissue, while TFF2 was expressed at near-undetectable levels. CRSsNP tissue had a statistically significant increase in the expression of both TFF1 and TFF3. No difference in TFF expression was found between control and CRSwNP patients.
CONCLUSION - TFF1 and TFF3 are overexpressed in CRSsNP. The role of TFF peptides in mucosal protection and repair suggests a possible important physiologic role in maintaining the sinonasal epithelial barrier and modulating innate immunity in the sinonasal tract.
© 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC.
Early diagnosis and curative resection are the predominant factors associated with increased survival in patients with gastric cancer. However, most gastric cancer cases are still diagnosed at later stages. Since most pathologic specimens are archived as FFPE samples, the ability to use them to generate expression profiles can greatly improve cancer biomarker discovery. We sought to uncover new biomarkers for stomach preneoplastic metaplasias and neoplastic lesions by generating proteome profiles using FFPE samples. We combined peptide isoelectric focusing and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis to generate proteomic profiles from FFPE samples of intestinal-type gastric cancer, metaplasia, and normal mucosa. The expression patterns of selected proteins were analyzed by immunostaining first in single tissue sections from normal stomach, metaplasia, and gastric cancer and later in larger tissue array cohorts. We detected 60 proteins up-regulated and 87 proteins down-regulated during the progression from normal mucosa to metaplasia to gastric cancer. Two of the up-regulated proteins, LTF and DMBT1, were validated as specific markers for spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia and intestinal metaplasia, respectively. In cancers, significantly lower levels of DMBT1 or LTF correlated with more advanced disease and worse prognosis. Thus, proteomic profiling using FFPE samples has led to the identification of two novel markers for stomach metaplasias and gastric cancer prognosis.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
SMAD proteins are downstream effectors of the TGF-β signaling pathway. Smad3-null mice develop colorectal cancer by 6 months of age. In this study, we have examined whether the loss of Smad3 promotes gastric neoplasia in mice. The stomachs of Smad3⁻/⁻ mice were compared with age-matched Smad3 heterozygous and wild-type mice. E-cadherin, Ki-67, phosphoSTAT3, and TFF2/SP expression was analyzed by immunohistochemisty. The short hairpin RNA (ShRNA)-mediated knockdown of Smad3 in AGS and MKN28 cells was also performed. In addition, we examined alterations in DCLK1-expressing cells. Smad3⁻/⁻ mouse stomachs at 6 months of age revealed the presence of exophytic growths along the lesser curvature in the proximal fundus. Six-month-old Smad3⁻/⁻ mouse stomachs showed metaplastic columnar glands initiating from the transition zone junction between the forestomach and the glandular epithelium along the lesser curvature. Ten-month-old Smad3⁻/⁻ mice all exhibited invasive gastric neoplastic changes with increased Ki-67, phosphoSTAT3 expression, and aberrant cytosolic E-cadherin staining in papillary glands within the invading submucosal gland. The shRNA-mediated knockdown of Smad3 in AGS and MKN28 cells promoted the expression of phosphoSTAT3. DCLK1-expressing cells, which also stained for the tuft cell marker acetylated-α-tubulin, were observed in 10-month-old Smad3⁻/⁻ mice within tumors and in fundic invasive lesions. In conclusion, Smad3-null mice develop gastric tumors in the fundus, which arise from the junction between the forestomach and the glandular epithelium and progress to prominent invasive tumors over time. Smad3-null mice represent a novel model of fundic gastric tumor initiated from forestomach/glandular transition zone along the lesser curvature.
The orderly differentiation of cell lineages within gastric glands is regulated by a complicated interplay of local mucosal growth factors and hormones. Histamine secreted from enterochromaffin-like cells plays an important role in not only stimulated gastric acid secretion but also coordination of intramucosal growth and lineage differentiation. We have examined histidine-decarboxylase (HDC)-deficient mice, which lack endogenous histamine synthesis, to evaluate the influence of histamine on differentiation of fundic mucosal lineages and the development of metaplasia following induction of acute oxyntic atrophy. Stomachs from HDC-deficient mice and wild-type mice were evaluated at 8 wk and 12 mo of age. DMP-777 was administrated orally to 6-wk-old mice for 1 to 14 days. Sections of gastric mucosa were stained with antibodies against Mist1, intrinsic factor, H/K-ATPase, trefoil factor 2 (TFF2), chromogranin A, and Ext1 and for the cell cycle marker phospho-histone H3. HDC-deficient mice at 8 wk of age demonstrated a prominent increase in chief cells expressing Mist1 and intrinsic factor. Importantly Mist1-positive mature chief cells were present in the midgland region as well as at the bases of fundic glands, indicating a premature differentiation of chief cells. Mice dually deficient for both HDC and gastrin showed a normal distribution of chief cells in fundic glands. Treatment of HDC-deficient mice with DMP-777 led to loss of parietal cells and an accelerated and exaggerated emergence of mucous cell metaplasia with the presence of dual intrinsic factor and TFF2-expressing cells throughout the gland length, indicative of the emergence of spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) from chief cells. These findings indicate that histamine, in concert with gastrin, regulates the appropriate differentiation of chief cells from mucous neck cells as they migrate toward the bases of fundic glands. Nevertheless, histamine is not required for emergence of SPEM following acute oxyntic atrophy.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - The loss of parietal cells from the fundic mucosa leads to the emergence of metaplastic lineages associated with an increased susceptibility to neoplastic transformation. Both intestinal metaplasia (IM) and spasmolytic polypeptide (TFF2/SP) expressing metaplasia (SPEM) have been identified in human stomach, but only SPEM is present in most mouse models of gastric metaplasia. We previously determined that loss of amphiregulin (AR) promotes SPEM induced by acute oxyntic atrophy. We have now examined whether SPEM in the AR-/- mouse predisposes the stomach to gastric neoplasia.
METHODS - Gross pathology of 18-month-old wild-type, AR-/-, and TGF-alpha-/- mice were examined. Ki-67, beta-catenin, Pdx-1, TFF3, and TFF2/SP expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Metaplastic gastric mucosa was analyzed by dual immunostaining for TFF2/SP with MUC2 or TFF3.
RESULTS - By 18 months of age, more than 70% of AR-/- mice developed SPEM while 42% showed goblet cell IM labeled with MUC2, TFF3, and Pdx-1. A total of 28% had invasive gastric lesions in the fundus. No antral abnormalities were observed in AR-/- mice. Metaplastic cell lineages in AR-/- mice showed increases in cell proliferation and cytosolic beta-catenin expression. Dual staining for TFF2/SP with MUC2 or TFF3 showed glands containing both SPEM and IM with intervening cells expressing both TFF2/SP and MUC2 or TFF2/SP and TFF3.
CONCLUSIONS - AR-/- mice develop SPEM, which gives rise to goblet cell IM and invasive fundic dysplastic lesions. The AR-/- mouse represents the first mouse model for spontaneous development of fundic SPEM with progression to IM.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Loss of gastric parietal cells is a critical precursor to gastric metaplasia and neoplasia. However, the origin of metaplasia remains obscure. Acute parietal cell loss in gastrin-deficient mice treated with DMP-777 leads to the rapid emergence of spasmolytic polypeptide/trefoil factor family 2 (TFF2)-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) from the bases of fundic glands. We now sought to characterize more definitively the pathway for emergence of SPEM.
METHODS - Emerging SPEM lineages in gastrin-deficient mice treated with DMP-777 were examined for immunolocalization of TFF2, intrinsic factor, and Mist1, and morphologically with electron microscopy. Emerging SPEM was isolated with laser-capture microdissection and RNA was analyzed using gene microarrays. Immunohistochemistry in mouse and human samples was used to confirm up-regulated transcripts.
RESULTS - DMP-777-induced SPEM was immunoreactive for TFF2 and the differentiated chief cell markers, Mist1 and intrinsic factor, suggesting that SPEM derived from transdifferentiation of chief cells. Microarray analysis of microdissected SPEM lineages induced by DMP-777 showed up-regulation of transcripts associated with G1/S cell-cycle transition including minichromosome maintenance deficient proteins, as well as a number of secreted factors, including human epididymis 4 (HE4). HE4, which was absent in the normal stomach, was expressed in SPEM of human and mouse and in intestinal metaplasia and gastric cancer in human beings.
CONCLUSIONS - Although traditionally metaplasia was thought to originate from normal mucosal progenitor cells, these studies indicate that SPEM evolves through either transdifferentiation of chief cells or activation of a basal cryptic progenitor. In addition, induction of metaplasia elicits the expression of secreted factors, such as HE4, relevant to gastric preneoplasia.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - The loss of parietal cells from the gastric mucosa (oxyntic atrophy) is a critical step in the pathogenesis of chronic gastritis and gastric adenocarcinoma. Parietal cells are known to secrete epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands, which are critical regulators of differentiation in the gastric mucosa. Although all of the actions of EGFR ligands are mediated through a common EGFR protein, individual ligands may produce different physiologic responses. Previous investigations have suggested that a deficit in EGFR signaling in waved-2 mice accelerates the emergence of metaplasia after induction of acute oxyntic atrophy. We sought to determine whether specific EGFR ligands regulate the metaplastic response to oxyntic atrophy.
METHODS - To induce spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM), amphiregulin (AR) and transforming growth factor-alpha-deficient mice and their wild-type littermates were treated with DMP-777 for 0-14 days and for 14 days followed by 14 days of recovery off drug. We evaluated the gastric mucosal response to oxyntic atrophy using cell lineage-specific markers.
RESULTS - Although loss of transforming growth factor-alpha did not influence the induction of SPEM, loss of AR caused an acceleration and amplification in the induction of SPEM after acute oxyntic atrophy. Trefoil factor family 2/spasmolytic polypeptide and intrinsic factor dual-immunostaining cells significantly increased in the SPEM of AR-deficient mice. At the bases of glands, intrinsic factor immunoreactive cells also were costained for 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine, suggesting their re-entry into the cell cycle.
CONCLUSIONS - The absence of AR promoted the rapid emergence of SPEM in response to oxyntic atrophy.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Increase of intramucosal transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha) levels in the gastric fundus leads to oxyntic atrophy and massive foveolar hyperplasia in both metallothionein (MT)-TGFalpha mice and patients with Ménétrier's disease. We have evaluated the hypothesis that increased levels of TGFalpha in the fundus induces an antral pattern of cell differentiation in fundic glands by studying Pdx1, a transcription factor whose expression normally is confined to the gastric antrum.
METHODS - Induction of Pdx1 expression was evaluated in Pdx1(lacZ/+)/MT-TGFalpha bigenic mice treated with zinc. The distribution of Pdx1 in MT-TGFalpha mice and Ménétrier's disease patients was evaluated with anti-Pdx1 antibodies. Transcript levels were evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in mouse and human tissues and AGS cells.
RESULTS - In Pdx1(lacZ/+) mice, Pdx1 was expressed in antral mucosal cells including gastrin cells and TFF2-expressing deep glandular mucous cells. Zinc treatment for 2 to 8 weeks in Pdx1(lacZ/+)/MT-TGFalpha transgenic mice resulted in expression of Pdx1 throughout the fundus. No ectopic fundic Pdx1 expression was observed in either H. felis-infected or DMP777-treated mice. In MT-TGFalpha mice, 8 weeks of zinc treatment elicited nuclear Pdx1 staining throughout the fundic mucosa. TGFalpha treatment in AGS cells led to increases in Pdx1 and gastrin messenger RNA expression. Fundic sections from Ménétrier's disease patients showed nuclear Pdx1 staining throughout the fundic glands. Treatment of a Ménétrier's disease patient with an anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody reduced fundic expression of both Pdx1 and gastrin.
CONCLUSIONS - Overexpression of TGFalpha in MT-TGFalpha mice and Ménétrier's disease patients elicits ectopic expression in the fundus of Pdx1, consistent with the phenotype of antralization.
Stromal fibroblasts regulate epithelial cell behavior through direct and indirect cell-cell interactions. To clarify the role of TGF-beta signaling in stromal fibroblasts during mammary development and tumorigenesis, we conditionally knocked out the TGF-beta type II receptor gene in mouse mammary fibroblasts (Tgfbr2(fspKO)). Tgfbr2(fspKO) mice exhibit defective mammary ductal development, characterized in part by increased ductal epithelial cell turnover associated with an increase in stromal fibroblast abundance. Tgfbr2(fspKO) mammary fibroblasts transplanted with mammary carcinoma cells promote growth and invasion, which is associated with increased activating phosphorylation of the receptors: erbB1, erbB2, RON, and c-Met. Furthermore, the increased receptor phosphorylation correlates with increased secretion of the cognate ligands by Tgfbr2(fspKO) fibroblasts. Treatment of tumor cells with fibroblast-conditioned medium leads to increased tumor cell proliferation and motility, which are blocked by addition of pharmacologic inhibitors of TGF-alpha signaling or neutralizing antibodies to macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP), HGF, or c-Met. These studies characterize a significant role for stromal TGF-beta signaling in mammary tissue homeostasis and mammary tumor progression via regulation of TGF-alpha, MSP, and HGF signaling pathways.