JOURNAL ARTICLE

K-ras mutation targeted to gastric tissue progenitor cells results in chronic inflammation, an altered microenvironment, and progression to intraepithelial neoplasia

Tomoyuki Okumura, Russell E Ericksen, Shigeo Takaishi, Sophie S W Wang, Zinaida Dubeykovskiy, Wataru Shibata, Kelly S Betz, Sureshkuma Muthupalani, Arlin B Rogers, James G Fox, Anil K Rustgi, Timothy C Wang
Cancer Research 2010 November 1, 70 (21): 8435-45
20959488
Chronic infectious diseases, such as Helicobacter pylori infection, can promote cancer in a large part through induction of chronic inflammation. Oncogenic K-ras mutation in epithelial cells activates inflammatory pathways, which could compensate for a lack of infectious stimulus. Gastric histopathology and putative progenitor markers [doublecortin and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase-like 1 (Dcamkl1) and keratin 19 (K19)] in K19-K-ras-V12 (K19-kras) transgenic mice were assessed at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months of age, in comparison with Helicobacter felis-infected wild-type littermates. Inflammation was evaluated by reverse transcription-PCR of proinflammatory cytokines, and K19-kras mice were transplanted with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled bone marrow. Both H. felis infection and K-ras mutation induced upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, expansion of Dcamkl1(+) cells, and progression to oxyntic atrophy, metaplasia, hyperplasia, and high-grade dysplasia. K19-kras transgenic mice uniquely displayed mucous metaplasia as early as 3 months and progressed to high-grade dysplasia and invasive intramucosal carcinoma by 20 months. In bone marrow-transplanted K19-kras mice that progressed to dysplasia, a large proportion of stromal cells were GFP(+) and bone marrow-derived, but only rare GFP(+) epithelial cells were observed. GFP(+) bone marrow-derived cells included leukocytes and CD45(-) stromal cells that expressed vimentin or α smooth muscle actin and were often found surrounding clusters of Dcamkl1(+) cells at the base of gastric glands. In conclusion, the expression of mutant K-ras in K19(+) gastric epithelial cells can induce chronic inflammation and promote the development of dysplasia.

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