Research Perspectives:

MicroRNA (miR) dysregulation during Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric inflammation and cancer development: critical importance of miR-155

Christian Prinz _ and David Weber

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Oncotarget. 2020; 11:894-904. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27520

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Christian Prinz1 and David Weber1

1 Lehrstuhl für Innere Medizin1, University of Witten gGmbH, Helios Universitätsklinikum, D-42283 Wuppertal, Germany

Correspondence to:

Christian Prinz,email: christian.prinz@helios-kliniken.de

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; gastric inflammation; gastric cancer; microRNA; miR-155

Received: May 14, 2019     Accepted: February 06, 2020     Published: March 10, 2020


Dysregulation of noncoding microRNA molecules has been associated with immune cell activation in the context of Helicobacter pylori induced gastric inflammation as well as carcinogenesis, but also with downregulation of mismatch repair genes, and may interfere with immune checkpoint proteins that lead to the overexpression of antigens on gastric tumor cells. Numerous miR-molecules have been described as important tools and markers in gastric inflammation and cancer development —including miR-21, miR-143, miR-145, miR-201, and miR-335— all of which are downregulated in gastric tumors, and involved in cell cycle growth or tumor invasion. Among the many microRNAs involved in gastric inflammation, adenocarcinoma development and immune checkpoint regulation, miR-155 is notable in that its upregulation is considered a key marker of chronic gastric inflammation that predisposes a patient to gastric carcinogenesis. Among various other miRs, miR-155 is highly expressed in activated B and T cells and in monocytes/macrophages present in chronic gastric inflammation. Notably, miR-155 was shown to downregulate the expression of certain MMR genes, such as MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6. In tumor-infiltrating miR-155-deficient CD8+ T cells, antibodies against immune checkpoint proteins restored the expression of several derepressed miR-155 targets, suggesting that miR-155 may regulate overlapping pathways to promote antitumor immunity. It may thus be of high clinical impact that gastric pathologies mediated by miR-155 result from its overexpression. This suggests that it may be possible to therapeutically attenuate miR-155 levels for gastric cancer treatment and/or to prevent the progression of chronic gastric inflammation into cancer.

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