Purpose: In the gastric mucosa of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-infected patients with gastritis or adenocarcinoma, proliferation of gastric epithelial cells is increased. Hyperproliferation is related to induction of oncogenes, such as β-catenin and c-myc. Even though transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 are activated in H. pylori-infected cells, whether NF-κB or AP-1 regulates the expression of β-catenein or c-myc in H. pylori-infected cells has not been clarified. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether H. pylori-induced activation of NF-κB and AP-1 mediates the expression of oncogenes and hyperproliferation of gastric epithelial cells. Materials and Methods: Gastric epithelial AGS cells were transiently transfected with mutant genes for IκBα (MAD3) and c-Jun (TAM67) or treated with a specific NF-κB inhibitor caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) or a selective AP-1 inhibitor SR-11302 to suppress activation of NF-κB or AP-1, respecively. As reference cells, the control vector pcDNA was transfected to the cells. Wild-type cells or transfected cells were cultured with or without H. pylori. Results: H. pylori induced activation of NF-κB and AP-1, cell proliferation, and expression of oncogenes (β-catenein, c-myc) in AGS cells, which was inhibited by transfection of MAD3 and TAM67. Wild-type cells and the cells transfected with pcDNA showed similar activities of NF-κB and AP-1, proliferation, and oncogene expression regardless of treatment with H. pylori. Both CAPE and SR-11302 inhibited cell proliferation and expression of oncogenes in H. pylori-infected cells. Conclusion: H. pylori-induced activation of NF-κB and AP-1 regulates transcription of oncogenes and mediates hyperproliferation in gastric epithelial cells.
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