The cytoprotective protein clusterin is overexpressed in hypergastrinemic rodent models of oxyntic preneoplasia and promotes gastric cancer cell survival
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The cytoprotective protein clusterin is often dysregulated during tumorigenesis, and in the stomach, upregulation of clusterin marks emergence of the oxyntic atrophy (loss of acid-producing parietal cells)-associated spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM). The hormone gastrin is important for normal function and maturation of the gastric oxyntic mucosa and hypergastrinemia might be involved in gastric carcinogenesis. Gastrin induces expression of clusterin in adenocarcinoma cells. In the present study, we examined the expression patterns and gastrin-mediated regulation of clusterin in gastric tissue from: humans; rats treated with proton pump (H+/K+-ATPase) inhibitors and/or a gastrin receptor (CCK2R) antagonist; H+/K+-ATPase β-subunit knockout (H/K-β KO) mice; and Mongolian gerbils infected with Helicobacter pylori and given a CCK2R antagonist. Biological function of secretory clusterin was studied in human gastric cancer cells. Clusterin was highly expressed in neuroendocrine cells in normal oxyntic mucosa of humans and rodents. In response to hypergastrinemia, expression of clusterin increased significantly and its localization shifted to basal groups of proliferative cells in the mucous neck cell-chief cell lineage in all animal models. That shift was partially inhibited by antagonizing the CCK2R in rats and gerbils. The oxyntic mucosa of H/K-β KO mice contained areas with clusterin-positive mucous cells resembling SPEM. In gastric adenocarcinomas, clusterin mRNA expression was higher in diffuse tumors containing signet ring cells compared with diffuse tumors without signet ring cells, and clusterin seemed to be secreted by tumor cells. In gastric cancer cell lines, gastrin increased secretion of clusterin, and both gastrin and secretory clusterin promoted survival after starvation- and chemotherapy-induced stress. Overall, our results indicate that clusterin is overexpressed in hypergastrinemic rodent models of oxyntic preneoplasia and stimulates gastric cancer cell survival.