Intracellular Osteopontin Induced by CagA-positiveHelicobacter pyloriPromotes Beta-catenin Accumulation and Interleukin-8 Secretion in Gastric Epithelial cells

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Osteopontin, an important immune modulator and oncogenic promoter, is upregulated in H. pylori-infected gastric mucosa. However, the underlying mechanisms and biological significance are poorly understood. We investigated whether osteopontin was upregulated in gastric epithelial cells by H. pylori and the virulence factors involved. Moreover, cellular component changes caused by osteopontin were also investigated.

Materials and Methods:

The gastric epithelial cell line MKN45 was cocultured with wild-type and mutant H. pylori to analyze osteopontin expression. Beta-catenin levels in cell lysate and interleukin-8 levels in supernatant were analyzed. The difference in osteopontin expression levels in both gastric epithelium and plasma was compared between H. pylori-infected patients and uninfected controls.


H. pylori induced intracellular, but not secretory, osteopontin expression in MKN45 cells. Accordingly, osteopontin expression intensity in gastric epithelium was higher in H. pylori-infected patients than in controls, but osteopontin levels in plasma were similar between both patient groups. H. pylori virulence factor CagA delivered via the type IV secretion system was essential for intracellular osteopontin upregulation. H. pylori induced β-catenin accumulation and interleukin-8 secretion, whereas osteopontin knockdown completely abrogated these effects, in MKN45 cells. TLR2 antagonist abolished iOPN expression induced by H. pylori gastritis strain, but not by H. pylori cancer strain.


H. pylori is dependent on CagA translocation via the type IV secretion system to induce intracellular osteopontin expression in gastric epithelial cells. Upregulated intracellular osteopontin may promote gastric carcinogenesis via increased β-catenin accumulation and interleukin-8 secretion.

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