Infection with Helicobacter pylori is closely linked to an increased risk of gastric cancer. Although cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), a major virulence factor of H. pylori, is known to be a causal factor for gastric carcinogenesis, the molecular link between CagA and gastric cancer-initiating cell (CIC)-like properties remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that CagA is required for increased expression of β-catenin and its target CIC markers via downregulation of microRNA (miR)-320a and miR-4496. CagA promoted gastric CIC properties and was responsible for chemoresistance. miR-320a and miR-4496 attenuated the in vitro self-renewal and tumour-initiating capacity of CagA-expressing CICs by targeting β-catenin. Moreover, miR-320a and miR-4496 decreased CagA-induced chemoresistance by targeting ATP-binding cassette, subfamily G, member 2 (ABCG2) at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, respectively. Combination therapy with 5-fluorouracil and miR-320a/miR-4496 suppressed gastric tumourigenesis and metastatic potential in an orthotopic mouse model, probably via suppression of CagA-induced CIC properties and chemoresistance. Our results provide novel evidence that CIC properties, chemoresistance and tumourigenesis associated with H. pylori are linked to CagA-induced upregulation of β-catenin and ABCG2. These data provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of CagA-induced carcinogenisis and the therapeutic potential of of miR-320a and miR-4496.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine