Polymorphisms in pepsinogen c and mirna genes associate with high serum pepsinogen ii in gastric cancer patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pepsinogen (PG) II (PGII) is a serological marker used to estimate the risk of gastric cancer but how PGII expression is regulated is largely unknown. It has been suggested that PGII expression, from the PGC (Progastricsin) gene, is regulated by microRNAs (miRNA), but how PGII levels vary with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and miRNAs genotype remains unclear. Methods: Serum levels of PGI and PGII were determined in 80 patients with gastric cancer and persons at risk for gastric cancer (74 first-degree relatives of patients, 62 patients with autoimmune chronic atrophic gastritis, and 2 patients with dysplasia), with and without H. pylori infection. As control from the general population, 52 blood donors were added to the analyses. Associations between PGII levels and genetic variants in PGC and miRNA genes in these groups were explored based on H. pylori seropositivity and the risk for gastric cancer. The two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and the NanoString analysis of messenger RNA (mRNAs) from gastric cancer tissue were used to determine the pathways associated with increased PGII levels. Results: PGII levels were significantly higher in patients with gastric cancer, and in those with H. pylori infection, than in other patients or controls. A PGI/PGII ratio ≤ 3 was found better than PGI < 25 ng/mL to identify patients with gastric cancer (15.0% vs. 8.8%). For two genetic variants, namely rs8111742 in miR-Let-7e and rs121224 in miR-365b, there were significant differences in PGII levels between genotype groups among patients with gastric cancer (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01, respectively), but not among other study subjects. Moreover, a strict relation between rs9471643 C-allele with H. pylori infection and gastric cancer was underlined. Fold change in gene expression of mRNA isolated from gastric cancer tissue correlated well with polymorphism, H. pylori infection, increased PGII level, and pathway for bacteria cell entry into the host. Conclusions: Serum PGII levels de-pend in part on an interaction between H. pylori and host miRNA genotypes, which may interfere with the cut-off of PGI/PGII ratio used to identify persons at risk of gastric cancer. Results reported new findings regarding the relation among H. pylori, PGII-related host polymorphism, and genes involved in this interaction in the gastric cancer setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Gastric cancer
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • PGC
  • Polymorphisms
  • RNAs
  • Serum pepsinogen II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Polymorphisms in pepsinogen c and mirna genes associate with high serum pepsinogen ii in gastric cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this