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A potential route for human tumor gene therapy

The type 1 Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE1) is a transmembrane protein found in all eukaryotic cells. One of its functions is to evacuate excessive H+ in the cytoplasm by means of Na+-H+ exchange, resulting in stable intracellular pH value. Inhibition of the upregulation of NHE-1 gene expression in human gastric carcinoma cells can induce intracellular acidification, resulting in apoptosis of tumor cells, which is helpful for the treatment of tumors.

This study, performed by a team led by Professor Hai-Feng Liu, is described in a research article to be published on April 14, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Previous studies have proven that the significantly higher expression level of NHE1 protein in gastric carcinoma tissues than in normal gastric tissues is closely associated with the genesis and progression of tumors, suggesting that NHE1 can be used as the target in treatment of tumors. However, further studies are needed to know whether the intervention of the antisense NHE1 gene can decrease type 1 Na+/H+ exchange of membranous ion exchange protein in gastric carcinoma cells, and the effects on the biological behaviors of gastric carcinoma cells.

The purpose of transfection of the antisense NHE1 gene into the human gastric carcinoma cell line SGC-7901 is to investigate the effects of antisense therapy targeting the NHE1 gene on the malignant phenotypes of gastric carcinoma cells. The results indicate NHE1 genes are among the important genes in maintaining the phenotypes of the SGC-7901 cell line. NHE1 might be closely associated with the malignant biological behaviors of tumor cells, so the phenotypes of the tumor will be restrained when NHE1 is inhibited.

This is an interesting article examining the effect of inhibiting NHE1 on tumor survival. It would be useful to make clearer in the abstract what NHE1 is. Further research should be done on gene therapy for gastric carcinomas.


Contact: Jing Zhu
World Journal of Gastroenterology

Page: 1

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