Molecular complexes grouped under the names of tight, adherent or gap junction regulate the flow of water, ions and macromolecules through epithelium paracellular spaces. The main constituents of tight junctions are claudins, a family of 26 different proteins whose expression and distribution are tissue specific but varies in tumors. A change in claudin 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 18 expression, that contributes to lose epithelial cohesion, has been associated to enhanced cell proliferation, migration, and invasiveness in gastric neoplastic tissue. Chronic inflammation process induced by H. pylori infection, a major risk factor for gastric cancer development, disrupts tight junctions via CagA gene, Cag pathogenicity island, and VacA, but the effect upon the epithelial barrier of H. pylori lipopolysaccharides or H. pylori-induced up-regulation of mTOR and ERK signaling pathways by microRNA-100 establishes new concepts of proof.
Part of the book: Helicobacter pylori