• Helicobacter pylori;
  • IRX1;
  • promoter methylation;
  • stomach;
  • tumor suppressor


Background and Aim:  Gene silence of IRX1 tumor suppressor by promoter CpG methylation combined with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) has been identified in human gastric cancer. This study investigated the association between methylation of IRX1 and Helicobacter pylori infection in gastric mucosa tissues and cell line.

Methods:  IRX1 methylation was studied by methylation specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) and bisulfate sequencing polymerase chain reaction (BSP) methods in gastric mucosa tissues from H. pylori-positive chronic gastritis patients or H. pylori-negative chronic gastritis patients. Promoter activity, methylation status and gene expressing level of IRX1 were evaluated by persistent infecting H. pylori on human gastric cells GES-1 in vitro. Electron microscopy was used to observe the effect of H. pylori infection on GES-1 gastric mucosa cells.

Results:  The methylation level of IRX1 promoter in H. pylori positive chronic gastritis and H. pylori negative chronic gastritis was 55.30% ± 13.17 versus 5.20% ± 6.31, respectively (P < 0.01). H. pylori infection stimulated increased microvillus, and mucous secretion on GES-1 cells. Infection of H. pylori induced IRX1 promoter methylation and downregulation of the promoter activity as well as gene expression significantly.

Conclusions:  This study firstly demonstrated that H. pylori infection contributes to IRX1 promoter methylation on gastric mucosa.