Research Papers:

Inhibition of NF-κB prevents the acidic bile-induced oncogenic mRNA phenotype, in human hypopharyngeal cells

Dimitra P. Vageli, Sotirios G. Doukas and Clarence T. Sasaki _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:5876-5891. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23143

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Dimitra P. Vageli1, Sotirios G. Doukas1 and Clarence T. Sasaki1

1The Yale Larynx Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Correspondence to:

Clarence T. Sasaki, email: [email protected]

Keywords: bile acids; NF-kB inhibitor; hypopharyngeal carcinogenesis; mRNA phenotype; laryngopharyngeal reflux

Received: June 13, 2017     Accepted: November 01, 2017     Published: December 12, 2017


Bile-containing gastro-duodenal reflux has been clinically considered an independent risk factor in hypopharyngeal carcinogenesis. We recently showed that the chronic effect of acidic bile, at pH 4.0, selectively induces NF-κB activation and accelerates the transcriptional levels of genes, linked to head and neck cancer, in normal hypopharyngeal epithelial cells. Here, we hypothesize that NF-κB inhibition is capable of preventing the acidic bile-induced and cancer-related mRNA phenotype, in treated normal human hypopharyngeal cells. In this setting we used BAY 11-7082, a specific and well documented pharmacologic inhibitor of NF-κB, and we observed that BAY 11-7082 effectively inhibits the acidic bile-induced gene expression profiling of the NF-κB signaling pathway (down-regulation of 72 out of 84 analyzed genes). NF-κB inhibition significantly prevents the acidic bile-induced transcriptional activation of NF-κB transcriptional factors, RELA (p65) and c-REL, as well as genes related to and commonly found in established HNSCC cell lines. These include anti-apoptotic bcl-2, oncogenic STAT3, EGFR, ΔNp63, TNF-α and WNT5A, as well as cytokines IL-1β and IL-6. Our findings are consistent with our hypothesis demonstrating that NF-κB inhibition effectively prevents the acidic bile-induced cancer-related mRNA phenotype in normal human hypopharyngeal epithelial cells supporting an understanding that NF-κB may be a critical link between acidic bile and early preneoplastic events in this setting.

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