Transcription of sonic hedgehog, a potential factor for gastric morphogenesis and gastric mucosa maintenance, is up-regulated in acidic conditions.
ABSTRACT Gastric body mucosa atrophy predisposes one to gastric cancer. Disturbances in the gastric differentiation process might play a role in the evolution of gastric atrophy. Sonic hedgehog (Shh) has recently been implicated as a crucial factor in gastric organogenesis and gland differentiation. In this study we investigated the expression of key factors in the Shh pathway, namely Shh and its receptor Patched (Ptc), in normal and pathologic stomach mucosa. Furthermore, the potential role of pH for Shh dysregulation was analyzed. Ten gastric biopsy specimens each from normal gastric mucosa, chronic nonatrophic gastritis, atrophic gastritis, and gastric cancer were included. Expression of Shh and Ptc was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. In normal body mucosa and in nonatrophic body gastritis, Shh was strongly expressed in parietal cells. Ptc was also expressed in gastric chief cells. Shh expression was almost completely lost in atrophic gastritis and in gastric cancer and absent in intestinal metaplasia. Ptc was markedly reduced in atrophy and only weakly positive in intestinal metaplasia and gastric cancer. In in vitro experiments, gastric cancer cell line 23132 was found positive for Shh. In long-term culture as well as in culture conditions with low pH, transcription of Shh in 23132 was significantly increased in quantitative reverse transcription PCR analyses. We concluded that the decreased expression of the Shh pathway in atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer might reflect altered differentiation processes within the gastric unit and contributes to the development of gastric atrophy. The increase of gastric pH might play a role in the development of gastric mucosa atrophy via reduction of Shh transcription.
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ABSTRACT: Hedgehog, WNT, FGF and BMP signaling pathways network together during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration, and carcinogenesis. Aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling pathway leads to pathological consequences in a variety of human tumors, such as gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer. Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), surgical gastrectomy and chemotherapy are therapeutic options for gastric cancer; however, prognosis of advanced gastric cancer patient is still poor. Here, Hedgehog signaling pathway in human gastric cancer and its clinical applications will be reviewed. Human SHH, IHH, DHH (Hedgehog homologs), HHAT (Hedgehog acyltransferase), HHIP (Hedgehog-interacting protein), DISP1, DISP2, DISP3 (Dispatched homologs), PTCH1, PTCH2 (Patched homologs), SMO (Smoothened homolog), KIF27, KIF7 (Costal-2 homologs), STK36 (Fused homolog), SUFU (SuFu homolog), DZIP1 (Iguana homolog), GLI1, GLI2 and GLI3 (Cubitus interruptus homologs) are implicated in the Hedgehog signaling. PTCH1, FOXM1 and CCND2 are direct transcriptional targets of Hedgehog signaling. Hedgehog signaling activation leads to cell proliferation through cell cycle regulation. SHH regulates growth and differentiation within gastric mucosa through autocrine loop and FOXL1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. SHH is implicated in stem/progenitor cell restitution of damaged gastric mucosa during chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori. SHH up-regulation, IHH upregulation and HHIP down-regulation lead to aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling through PTCH1 to GLI1 in gastric cancer. Small molecule compounds targeted to SMO (KADD-cyclopamine, SANT1-4, Cur61414) as well as humanized anti-SHH antibodies are potent anti-cancer drugs for gastric cancer. Cocktail of Hedgehog inhibitors would be developed as novel therapeutics for gastric cancer. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number polymorphism (CNP) of Hedgehog signaling genes would be utilized for genetic screening of gastric cancer, while cDNA-PCR, microarray and ELISA detecting aberrant Hedgehog signaling activation would be utilized for therapeutic optional choice. Genetic screening and precise selection of therapeutic options would contribute to the realization of personalized medicine.Cancer biology & therapy 11/2005; 4(10):1050-4. · 2.64 Impact Factor