IFNγ-dependent silencing of TFF1 during Helicobacter pylori infection.
Eletto D., Mentucci F., Vllahu M., Voli A., Petrella A., Boccellato F., Meyer T., Porta A., Tosco A.
Chronic <i>Helicobacter pylori</i> infection is the leading cause of intestinal-type adenocarcinoma, as prolonged <i>Helicobacter</i> colonization triggers chronic active gastritis, which may evolve into adenocarcinoma of the intestinal type. In this environment, cytokines play a significant role in determining the evolution of the infection. In combination with other factors (genetic, environmental and nutritional), the pro-inflammatory response may trigger pro-oncogenic mechanisms that lead to the silencing of tumour-suppressor genes, such as trefoil factor 1 (TFF1). The latter is known to play a protective role by maintaining the gastric mucosa integrity and retaining <i>H. pylori</i> in the mucus layer, preventing the progression of infection and, consequently, the development of gastric cancer (GC). Since TFF1 expression is reduced during chronic <i>Helicobacter</i> infection with a loss of gastric mucosa protection, we investigated the molecular pathways involved in this reduction. Specifically, we evaluated the effect of some pro-inflammatory cytokines on TFF1 regulation in GC and primary gastric cells by RT-qPCR and luciferase reporter assay analyses and the repressor role of the transcription factor C/EBPβ, overexpressed in gastric-intestinal cancer. Our results show that, among several cytokines, IFNγ stimulates C/EBPβ expression, which acts as a negative regulator of TFF1 by binding its promoter at three different sites.