The role of the innate immune system in preventing stomach cancer during chronic Helicobacter pylori infection

Research area

 |  innate immunity


 |  innate immunity, infection, inflammasome, signal transduction, gastrointestinal disease, cancer


 |  Honours

Contact supervisors at any time

Professor Richard Ferrero

Project description

During cell division, bacteria remodel their cell walls, resulting in the release of low molecular weight fragments of peptidoglycan, known as muropeptides. The muropeptides from Gram-negative bacteria are recognised by host cells via the actions of the innate immune molecule, NOD1, resulting in the induction of a pro-inflammatory signalling cascade. Preliminary data suggest that Helicobacter pylori exploits the NOD1 signalling pathway to maintain tissue homeostasis during chronic infection. This project will test the hypothesis that H. pylori can alter its muropeptide composition to actively engage the NOD1 pathway thereby preventing pre-cancerous changes in the stomach and thus favouring its survival in vivo. This project will involve a variety of techniques, including primary cell culture, mouse infection, histology, cytokine ELISA and qPCR.