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Cancer Sci. 2018 Feb;109(2):297-307. doi: 10.1111/cas.13462. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Helicobacter pylori induces caudal-type homeobox protein 2 and cyclooxygenase 2 expression by modulating microRNAs in esophageal epithelial cells.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.
Department of Gastroenterology, China Meitan General Hospital, Beijing, China.


Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been linked to virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori. The role of H. pylori in esophageal disease has not been clearly defined. We previously reported that H. pylori esophageal colonization promotes the incidence of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma in vivo. Here, we studied the direct effects of H. pylori on the transformation of esophageal epithelial cells, with particular focus on whether H. pylori exerts its effects by modulating miRNAs and their downstream target genes. The normal human esophageal cell line HET-1A was chronically exposed to H. pylori extract and/or acidified deoxycholic acid for up to 36 weeks. The miRNA profiles of the esophageal epithelial cells associated with H. pylori infection were determined by microarray analysis. We found that chronic H. pylori exposure promoted acidified deoxycholic acid-induced morphological changes in HET-1A cells, along with aberrant overexpression of intestinal metaplasia markers and tumorigenic factors, including caudal-type homeobox protein 2 (CDX2), mucin 2, and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). Helicobacter pylori modified the miRNA profiles of esophageal epithelial cells, particularly aberrant silencing of miR-212-3p and miR-361-3p. Moreover, in biopsies from Barrett's esophagus patients, esophageal H. pylori colonization was associated with a significant decrease in miR-212-3p and miR-361-3p expression. Furthermore, we identified COX2 as a target of miR-212-3p, and CDX2 as a target of miR-361-3p. Helicobacter pylori infection of esophageal epithelial cells was associated with miRNA-mediated upregulation of oncoprotein CDX2 and COX2. Our observations provide new evidence about the molecular mechanisms underlying the association between H. pylori infection and esophageal carcinogenesis.


Helicobacter pylori ; CDX2; COX2; esophagus; microRNA

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