Helicobacter pylori induces apoptosis in Barrett's-derived esophageal adenocarcinoma cells

Andrew D. Jones, Kathy D. Bacon, Blair A. Jobe, Brett C. Sheppard, Clifford W. Deveney, Michael J. Rutten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Helicobacter pylori may protect against the development of dysplasia in Barrett's epithelium of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. The aim of this study was to determine whether H. pylori preferentially induces apoptosis in Barrett's-derived cancer cells compared to normal cells. A Barrett's-derived adenocarcinoma cell line (OE33) was grown. H. pylori wild-type, isogenic vacA-, cagA-, and picB-/cagE- mutant strains were grown on agar plates. Intact or sonicated bacteria were used to treat normal and OE33 cells for 24 hours, and Hoechst dye binding was performed to measure apoptosis. FAS protein expression was determined by Western immunoblotting. OE33 cells treated with intact H. pylori wild-type strains produced significant (P < 0.05) dose-dependent increases in apoptosis compared to normal esophageal cells. H. pylori wild-type and vacA- isogenic strains were more effective than cagA- and picB-/cage- isogenic strains in inducing apoptosis in OE33 cells. In OE33 cells, H. pylori sonicates produced lower levels of apoptosis than intact bacteria. Wild-type H. pylori strains increased Fas protein expression in OE33 cells at 18 hours. H. pylori induced apoptosis at a higher rate in the Barrett's-derived human esophageal adenocarcinoma cells than in normal esophageal cells. The H. pylori-induced apoptosis was primarily dependent on intact bacteria and the presence of the cagA and picB/cagE gene products. H. pylori-induced apoptosis may involve the Fas-caspase cascade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Apoptosis
  • Barrett's
  • Esophagus
  • Helicobacter pylori

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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