Helicobacter pylori infection causes inflammation and increases the expression of IL-8 in human gastric epithelial cells. H. pylori activates NF-κB and AP-1, essential transcriptional factors in H. pylori-induced IL-8 gene transcription. Although colonization creates a local oxidative stress, the molecular basis for the transition from infection to the expression of redox-sensitive cytokine genes is unknown. We recently reported that the expression of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease-1/redox factor-1 (APE-1/Ref-1), which repairs oxidative DNA damage and reductively activates transcription factors including AP-1 and NF-κB, is increased in human gastric epithelia during H. pylori infection. In this study, we examine whether APE-1/Ref-1 functions in the modulation of IL-8 gene expression in H. pylori-infected human gastric epithelial cells. Small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of APE-1/ Ref-1 inhibited basal and H. pylori-induced AP-1 and NF-κB DNA-binding activity without affecting the nuclear translocation of these transcription factors and also reduced H. pylori-induced IL-8 mRNA and protein. In contrast, overexpression of APE-1/Ref-1 enhanced basal and H. pylori-induced IL-8 gene transcription, and the relative involvement of AP-1 in inducible IL-8 promoter activity was greater in APE-1/Ref-1 overexpressing cells than in cells with basal levels of APE-l/Ref-1. APE-1/Ref-1 inhibition also reduced other H. pylori-induced chemokine expression. By implicating APE-1/Ref-1 as an important regulator of gastric epithelial responses to H. pylori infection, these data elucidate a novel mechanism controlling transcription and gene expression in bacterial pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy