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Med Electron Microsc. 2004 Sep;37(3):149-57.

Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, North 15, West 7, Kita-ku, 060-8638, Sapporo, Japan.


Helicobacter pylori infection has an association with histological gastritis, gastric atrophy, gastric cancer, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma in the stomach. Gastric cancer occurs in only a minority of infected individuals, however. Such clinical diversities are caused by variations of H. pylori pathogenicity, host susceptibility, environmental factors, and interactions of these factors. By three prospective epidemiological studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization (IARC/WHO) concluded in 1994 that H. pylori had a causal linkage to gastric carcinogenesis and is a definite carcinogen in humans. In addition, the Mongolian gerbil model with or without low-dose chemical carcinogens demonstrated that H. pylori infection could develop into gastric cancer. The experimental studies have elucidated that virulence factors of H. pylori have an interaction with gastric epithelial cell signaling related to carcinogenesis. The cag pathogenicity island (cagPAI) is a major virulence gene cluster and codes the type IV secretion machinery system, forming a cylinder-like structure. The CagA protein is translocated into target cells via this secretion system and induces a hummingbird morphology, growth factor-like effect. The other gene products are probably translocated into target cells and accelerate cellular proliferation and apoptosis. Understanding the molecular mechanism of the interaction between H. pylori and gastric epithelial cells will provide us with a new strategy for effective prevention of the development of gastric cancer induced by H. pylori infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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