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Characteristics and interplay of esophageal microbiota in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

BMC Cancer. 2022 Jun 24;22(1):696. doi: 10.1186/s12885-022-09771-2.


BACKGROUND: Esophageal microbiota may influence esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) pathobiology. Therefore, we investigated the characteristics and interplay of the esophageal microbiota in ESCC.

METHODS: We performed 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing on paired esophageal tumor and tumor-adjacent samples obtained from 120 primarily ESCC patients. Analyses were performed using quantitative insights into microbial 2 (QIIME2) and phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states 2 (PICRUSt2). Species found to be associated with ESCC were validated using quantitative PCR.

RESULTS: The microbial diversity and composition of ESCC tumor tissues significantly differed from tumor-adjacent tissues; this variation between subjects beta diversity is mainly explained by regions and sampling seasons. A total of 56 taxa were detected with differential abundance between the two groups, such as R. mucilaginosa, P. endodontalis, N. subflava, H. Pylori, A. Parahaemolyticus, and A. Rhizosphaerae. Quantitative PCR confirmed the enrichment of the species P. endodontalis and the reduction of H. Pylori in tumor-adjacent tissues. Compared with tumor tissue, a denser and more complex association network was formed in tumor-adjacent tissue. The above differential taxa, such as H. Pylori, an unclassified species in the genera Sphingomonas, Haemophilus, Phyllobacterium, and Campylobacter, also participated in both co-occurrence networks but played quite different roles. Most of the differentially abundant taxa in tumor-adjacent tissues were negatively associated with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (ERBB2), erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 4 (ERBB4), and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) signaling pathways, and positively associated with the MET proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase (MET) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) signaling pathways in tumors.

CONCLUSION: Alterations in the microbial co-occurrence network and functional pathways in ESCC tissues may be involved in carcinogenesis and the maintenance of the local microenvironment for ESCC.

PMID:35739509 | DOI:10.1186/s12885-022-09771-2

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