Runt-related transcription factor 3, or RUNX3, is a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer. Inactivation of RUNX3 is causally associated with the genesis of gastric cancer, since RUNX3 is frequently inactivated in gastric cancers by hemizygous deletion, hypermethylation of its promoter, or protein mislocalization. Infection with Helicobacter pylori is the strongest risk factor for the development of gastric cancer. Recent studies have indicated that H. pylori infection plays an important role in the inactivation of RUNX3, and that this inactivation contributes to the pathogenesis of H. pylori. Here we summarize these recent advances and discuss their significances in understanding the initiation and development of gastric cancer. J. Cell. Biochem. 112: 381–386, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.