Helicobacter pylori stimulates host vascular endothelial growth factor-A (vegf-A) gene expression via MEK/ERK-dependent activation of Sp1 and Sp3


  • M.Z. Strowski
  • T. Cramer
  • G. Schaefer
  • S. Juettner
  • A. Walduck
  • E. Schipani
  • W. Kemmner
  • S. Wessler
  • C. Wunder
  • M. Weber
  • T.F. Meyer
  • B. Wiedenmann
  • T. Joens
  • M. Naumann
  • M. Hoecker


  • FASEB Journal


  • FASEB J 18 (1): 218-220


  • VEGF-A is a key regulator of inflammatory and tumor-associated angiogenesis. H. pylori plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of benign and malignant gastric diseases. It has been suggested that H. pylori infection is associated with activation of host angiogenesis, however, underlying mechanisms as well as angiogenic growth factors activated by the bacterium have not yet been identified. Therefore, we investigated the influence of the bacterium on VEGF-A as a candidate host target gene in vivo and in vitro. We show that H. pylori potently up-regulates production and release of VEGF-A protein as well as vegf-A mRNA levels, and we provide strong evidence that enhanced recruitment of Sp1 and Sp3 transcription factors to two proximal GC-rich vegf-A promoter elements mediates H. pylori-triggered vegf-A gene expression. In addition, H. pylori infection increased the transactivating capacity of both Sp1 and Sp3, which suggests additional mechanism(s) of vegf-A gene regulation by the bacterium. Signaling studies identified the MEK>ERK1/-2 kinase cascade as principal host signaling pathway mediating H. pylori-stimulated vegf-A transcription. By identifying H. pylori as potent activator of vegf-A gene expression and characterization of underlying molecular mechanisms, our results provide novel insights into pathways linking the bacterium to host angiogenesis and may help to develop strategies to influence vegf-A gene expression in the setting of H. pylori infection.