The following includes commentaries on how genetic code of Barrett's esophagus (BE) patients, the mechanisms for GERD-induced esophageal expression of caudal homeobox, and the development of Barrett's metaplasia are increasingly better known, including the role of stromal genes in oncogenesis. Additional lessons have been learned from in vitro models in nonneoplastic cell lines, yet there are limitations to what can be expected from BE-derived cell lines. Other topics discussed include clonal diversity in Barrett's esophagus; the application of peptide arrays to clinical samples of metaplastic mucosa; proliferation and apoptosis of Barrett's cell lines; tissue biomarkers for neoplasia; and transcription factors associated with BE.
"Notably, the majority of studies were focused on the role of tight junction molecules (e.g. Claudin-2, -3, -4, -7 and −18) in Barrett’s metaplasia and carcinogenesis towards esophageal adenocarcinoma
[25-30]. In regard to the other 2 endoscopic entities (ERD, NERD), distinct alterations in the expression and or localization were described for Claudins 3 and 4 in GERD-related animal and in vitro models
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is associated with impaired epithelial barrier function that is regulated by cell-cell contacts. The aim of the study was to investigate the expression pattern of selected components involved in the formation of tight junctions in relation to GERD.
Eighty-four patients with GERD-related symptoms with endoscopic signs (erosive: n = 47) or without them (non-erosive: n = 37) as well as 26 patients lacking GERD-specific symptoms as controls were included. Endoscopic and histological characterization of esophagitis was performed according to the Los Angeles and adapted Ismeil-Beigi criteria, respectively. Mucosal biopsies from distal esophagus were taken for analysis by histopathology, immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of five genes encoding tight junction components [Occludin, Claudin-1, -2, Zona occludens (ZO-1, -2)].
Histopathology confirmed GERD-specific alterations as dilated intercellular spaces in the esophageal mucosa of patients with GERD compared to controls (P < 0.05). Claudin-1 and −2 were 2- to 6-fold upregulation on transcript (P < 0.01) and in part on protein level (P < 0.015) in GERD, while subgroup analysis of revealed this upregulation for ERD only. In both erosive and non-erosive reflux disease, expression levels of Occludin and ZO-1,-2 were not significantly affected. Notably, the induced expression of both claudins did not correlate with histopathological parameters (basal cell hyperplasia, dilated intercellular spaces) in patients with GERD.
Taken together, the missing correlation between the expression of tight junction-related components and histomorphological GERD-specific alterations does not support a major role of the five proteins studied in the pathogenesis of GERD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Separation of the single anterior foregut tube into the esophagus and trachea involves cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as dynamic changes in cell-cell adhesion and migration. These biological processes are regulated and coordinated at multiple levels through the interplay of the epithelium and mesenchyme. Genetic studies and in vitro modeling have shed light on relevant regulatory networks that include a number of transcription factors and signaling pathways. These signaling molecules exhibit unique expression patterns and play specific functions in their respective territories before the separation process occurs. Disruption of regulatory networks inevitably leads to defective separation and malformation of the trachea and esophagus and results in the formation of a relatively common birth defect, esophageal atresia with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF). Significantly, some of the signaling pathways and transcription factors involved in anterior foregut separation continue to play important roles in the morphogenesis of the individual organs. In this review, we will focus on new findings related to these different developmental processes and discuss them in the context of developmental disorders or birth defects commonly seen in clinics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of arrays in genomics has led to a fast and reliable way to screen the transcriptome of an organism. It can be automated and analysis tools have become available and hence the technique has become widely used within the past few years. Signal-transduction routes rely mainly on the phosphorylation status of already available proteins; therefore kinases are central players in signal-transduction routes. The array technology can now also be used for the analysis of the kinome. To enable array analysis, consensus peptides for kinases are spot on a solid support. After incubation with cell lysates and in the presence of radioactive ATP, radioactive peptides can be visualized and the kinases that are active in the cells can be determined. The present paper reviews comprehensively the different kinome array platforms available and results obtained hitherto using such platforms. It will appear that this technology does not disappoint its high expectations and is especially powerful because of its species independence. Nevertheless, improvements are still possible and I shall also sketch future possible directions.
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