Intracellular calcium release and protein kinase c activation stimulate sonic hedgehog gene expression during gastric acid secretion

Mohamad Elzaatari, Yana Zavros, Art Tessier, Meghna Waghray, Steve Lentz, Deborah Gumucio, Andrea Todisco, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background & Aims Hypochlorhydria during Helicobacter pylori infection inhibits gastric Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) expression. We investigated whether acid-secretory mechanisms regulate Shh gene expression through intracellular calcium (Ca2+ i)-dependent protein kinase C (PKC) or cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) activation. Methods We blocked Hedgehog signaling by transgenically overexpressing a secreted form of the Hedgehog interacting protein-1, a natural inhibitor of hedgehog ligands, which induced hypochlorhydria. Gadolinium, ethylene glycol-bis(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid (EGTA) + 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA), PKC-overexpressing adenoviruses, and PKC inhibitors were used to modulate Ca2+ i-release, PKC activity, and Shh gene expression in primary gastric cell, organ, and AGS cell line cultures. PKA hyperactivity was induced in the H+/K+-β-cholera- toxinoverexpressing mice. Results Mice that expressed secreted hedgehog-interacting protein-1 had lower levels of gastric acid (hypochlorhydria), reduced production of somatostatin, and increased gastrin gene expression. Hypochlorhydria in these mice repressed Shh gene expression, similar to the levels obtained with omeprazole treatment of wild-type mice. However, Shh expression also was repressed in the hyperchlorhydric H +/K+-β-cholera-toxin model with increased cAMP, suggesting that the regulation of Shh was not solely acid-dependent, but pertained to specific acid-stimulatory signaling pathways. Based on previous reports that Ca2+ i release also stimulates acid secretion in parietal cells, we showed that gadolinium-, thapsigargin-, and carbachol-mediated release of Ca2+ i induced Shh expression. Ca2+-chelation with BAPTA + EGTA reduced Shh expression. Overexpression of PKC-α, -β, and -δ (but not PKC-) induced an Shh gene expression. In addition, phorbol esters induced a Shh-regulated reporter gene. Conclusions Secretagogues that stimulate gastric acid secretion induce Shh gene expression through increased Ca2+ i-release and PKC activation. Shh might be the ligand transducing changes in gastric acidity to the regulation of G-cell secretion of gastrin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2061-2071.e2
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chelation
  • Gastrin
  • Hedgehog Interacting Protein
  • Somatostatin
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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