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BackgroundGastric intestinal metaplasia (GIM) is an essential precancerous lesion. Although the reversal of GIM is challenging, it potentially brings a state-to-art strategy for gastric cancer therapeutics (GC). The lack of the appropriate in vitro model limits studies of GIM pathogenesis, which is the issue this work aims to address for further studies.MethodThe air-liquid interface (ALI) model was adopted for the long-term culture of GIM cells in the present work. This study conducted Immunofluorescence (IF), quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), transcriptomic sequencing, and mucoproteomic sequencing (MS) techniques to identify the pathways for differential expressed genes (DEGs) enrichment among different groups, furthermore, to verify novel biomarkers of GIM cells.ResultOur study suggests that GIM-ALI model is analog to the innate GIM cells, which thus can be used for mucus collection and drug screening. We found genes MUC17, CDA, TRIM15, TBX3, FLVCR2, ONECUT2, ACY3, NMUR2, and MAL2 were highly expressed in GIM cells, while GLDN, SLC5A5, MAL, and MALAT1 showed down-regulated, which can be used as potential biomarkers for GIM cells. In parallel, these genes that highly expressed in GIM samples were mainly involved in cancer-related pathways, such as the MAPK signal pathway and oxidative phosphorylation signal pathway.ConclusionThe ALI model is validated for the first time for the in vitro study of GIM. GIM-ALI model is a novel in vitro model that can mimic the tissue micro-environment in GIM patients and further provide an avenue for studying the characteristics of GIM mucus. Our study identified new markers of GIM as well as pathways associated with GIM, which provides outstanding insight for exploring GIM pathogenesis and potentially other related conditions.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of translational medicine

Publication Date





Henan Key Laboratory of Helicobacter pylori & Microbiota and Gastrointestinal Cancer, Marshall Medical Research Center, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, No. 3, Kangfuqian Street, Erqi District, Zhengzhou, Henan, 450002, China.


Intestines, Stomach, Gastric Mucosa, Organoids, Humans, Stomach Neoplasms, Metaplasia, Air, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Models, Biological, Transcriptome