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author:("tannis, Tone")
1.  Up-regulation of CLDN1 in gastric cancer is correlated with reduced survival 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:586.
The genetic changes in gastric adenocarcinoma are extremely complex and reliable tumor markers have not yet been identified. There are also remarkable geographical differences in the distribution of this disease. Our aim was to identify the most differentially regulated genes in 20 gastric adenocarcinomas from a Norwegian selection, compared to matched normal mucosa, and we have related our findings to prognosis, survival and chronic Helicobacter pylori infection.
Biopsies from gastric adenocarcinomas and adjacent normal gastric mucosa were obtained from 20 patients immediately following surgical resection of the tumor. Whole genome, cDNA microarray analysis was performed on the RNA isolated from the sample pairs to compare the gene expression profiles between the tumor against matched mucosa. The samples were microscopically examined to classify gastritis. The presence of H. pylori was examined using microscopy and immunohistochemistry.
130 genes showed differential regulation above a predefined cut-off level. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and Claudin-1 (CLDN1) were the most consistently up-regulated genes in the tumors. Very high CLDN1 expression in the tumor was identified as an independent and significant predictor gene of reduced post-operative survival. There were distinctly different expression profiles between the tumor group and the control mucosa group, and the histological subsets of mixed type, diffuse type and intestinal type cancer demonstrated further sub-clustering. Up-regulated genes were mapped to cell-adhesion, collagen-related processes and angiogenesis, whereas normal intestinal functions such as digestion and excretion were associated with down-regulated genes. We relate the current findings to our previous study on the gene response of gastric epithelial cells to H. pylori infection.
CLDN1 was highly up-regulated in gastric cancer, and CLDN1 expression was independently associated with a poor post-operative prognosis, and may have important prognostic value. IL-8 and CLDN1 may represent central links between the gene response seen in acute H. pylori infection of gastric epithelial cells, and ultimately gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4029627  PMID: 24321518
Gastric cancer; Interlukin 8; Claudin-1; Helicobacter pylori; cDNA microarray; Survival; Prognosis
2.  In silico evolutionary analysis of Helicobacter pylori outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA) 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:206.
In the past decade, researchers have proposed that the pldA gene for outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA) is important for bacterial colonization of the human gastric ventricle. Several conserved Helicobacter pylori genes have distinct genotypes in different parts of the world, biogeographic patterns that can be analyzed through phylogenetic trees. The current study will shed light on the importance of the pldA gene in H. pylori. In silico sequence analysis will be used to investigate whether the bacteria are in the process of preserving, optimizing, or rejecting the pldA gene. The pldA gene will be phylogenetically compared to other housekeeping (HK) genes, and a possible origin via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) will be evaluated through both intra- and inter-species evolutionary analyses.
In this study, pldA gene sequences were phylogenetically analyzed and compared with a large reference set of concatenated HK gene sequences. A total of 246 pldA nucleotide sequences were used; 207 were from Norwegian isolates, 20 were from Korean isolates, and 19 were from the NCBI database. Best-fit evolutionary models were determined with MEGA5 ModelTest for the pldA (K80 + I + G) and HK (GTR + I + G) sequences, and maximum likelihood trees were constructed. Both HK and pldA genes showed biogeographic clustering. Horizontal gene transfer was inferred based on significantly different GC contents, the codon adaptation index, and a phylogenetic conflict between a tree of OMPLA protein sequences representing 171 species and a tree of the AtpA HK protein for 169 species. Although a vast majority of the residues in OMPLA were predicted to be under purifying selection, sites undergoing positive selection were also found.
Our findings indicate that the pldA gene could have been more recently acquired than seven of the HK genes found in H. pylori. However, the common biogeographic patterns of both the HK and pldA sequences indicated that the transfer occurred long ago. Our results indicate that the bacterium is preserving the function of OMPLA, although some sites are still being evolutionarily optimized.
PMCID: PMC3490997  PMID: 22974200
OMPLA; pldA; Phospholipase A; Outer membrane; Helicobacter pylori; Biogeography; Adaptation
3.  Interleukin-8 is the single most up-regulated gene in whole genome profiling of H. pylori exposed gastric epithelial cells 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:9.
The association between Helicobacter pylori infection and upper gastrointestinal disease is well established. However, only a small fraction of H. pylori carriers develop disease, and there are great geographical differences in disease penetrance. The explanation to this enigma lies in the interaction between the bacterium and the host. H. pylori Outer Membrane Phospholipase A (OMPLA) has been suggested to play a role in the virulence of this bacterium. The aim of this study was to profile the most significant cellular pathways and biological processes affected in gastric epithelial cells during 24 h of H. pylori exposure, and to study the inflammatory response to OMPLA+ and OMPLA- H. pylori variants.
Interleukin-8 was the most significantly up-regulated gene and appears to play a paramount role in the epithelial cell response to H. pylori infection and in the pathological processes leading to gastric disease. MAPK and NF-kappaB cellular pathways were powerfully activated, but did not seem to explain the impressive IL-8 response. There was marked up-regulation of TP53BP2, whose corresponding protein ASPP2 may interact with H. pylori CagA and cause marked p53 suppression of apoptosis. Other regulators of apoptosis also showed abberant regulation. We also identified up-regulation of several oncogenes and down-regulation of tumor suppressor genes as early as during the first 24 h of infection. H. pylori OMPLA phase variation did not seem to influence the inflammatory epithelial cell gene response in this experiment.
In whole genome analysis of the epithelial response to H. pylori exposure, IL-8 demonstrated the most marked up-regulation, and was involved in many of the most important cellular response processes to the infection. There was dysregulation of apoptosis, tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes as early as in the first 24 h of H. pylori infection, which may represent early signs of gastric tumorigenesis. OMPLA+/-did not affect the acute inflammatory response to H. pylori.
PMCID: PMC3292955  PMID: 22248188
4.  Temporal and Spatial Diversity of the Tap Water Microbiota in a Norwegian Hospital ▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2009;75(24):7855-7857.
We analyzed the temporal and spatial diversity of the microbiota in a low-usage and a high-usage hospital tap. We identified a tap-specific colonization pattern, with potential human pathogens being overrepresented in the low-usage tap. We propose that founder effects and local adaptation caused the tap-specific colonization patterns. Our conclusion is that tap-specific colonization represents a potential challenge for water safety.
PMCID: PMC2794120  PMID: 19837845
5.  Phase Variation in the Helicobacter pylori Phospholipase A Gene and Its Role in Acid Adaptation 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(12):7334-7340.
Previously, we have shown that Helicobacter pylori can spontaneously and reversibly change its membrane lipid composition, producing variants with low or high content of lysophospholipids. The “lyso” variant contains a high percentage of lysophospholipids, adheres better to epithelial cells, and releases more proteins such as urease and VacA, compared to the “normal” variant, which has a low content of lysophospholipids. Prolonged growth of the normal variant at pH 3.5, but not under neutral conditions, leads to enrichment of lyso variant colonies, suggesting that the colony switch is relevant to acid adaptation. In this study we show that the change in membrane lipid composition is due to phase variation in the pldA gene. A change in the (C) tract length of this gene results in reversible frameshifts, translation of a full-length or truncated pldA, and the production of active or inactive outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA). The role of OMPLA in determining the colony morphology was confirmed by the construction of an OMPLA-negative mutant. Furthermore, variants with an active OMPLA were able to survive acidic conditions better than variants with the inactive form. This explains why the lyso variant is selected at low pH. Our studies demonstrate that phase variation in the pldA gene, resulting in an active form of OMPLA, is important for survival under acidic conditions. We also demonstrated the active OMPLA genotype in fresh isolates of H. pylori from patients referred to gastroscopy for dyspepsia.
PMCID: PMC98819  PMID: 11705905

Results 1-5 (5)