Helicobacter pylori infection is linked to various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only approximately 20% of infected individuals develop severe diseases. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in Africa and South Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer in these areas is much lower than in other countries. Furthermore, the incidence of gastric cancer tends to decrease from north to south in East Asia. Such geographic differences in the pathology can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factors, especially cagA, vacA, and the right end of the cag pathogenicity island. The genotype of the virulence genes is also useful as a tool to track human migration utilizing the high genetic diversity and frequent recombination between different H. pylori strains. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis using 7 housekeeping genes can also help predict the history of human migrations. Population structure analysis based on MLST has revealed 7 modern population types of H. pylori, which derived from 6 ancestral populations. Interestingly, the incidence of gastric cancer is closely related to the distribution of H. pylori populations. The different incidence of gastric cancer can be partly attributed to the different genotypes of H. pylori circulating in different geographic areas. Although approaches by MLST and virulence factors are effective, these methods focus on a small number of genes and may miss information conveyed by the rest of the genome. Genome-wide analyses using DNA microarray or whole-genome sequencing technology give a broad view on the genome of H. pylori. In particular, next-generation sequencers, which can read DNA sequences in less time and at lower costs than Sanger sequencing, enabled us to efficiently investigate not only the evolution of H. pylori, but also novel virulence factors and genomic changes related to drug resistance.
Helicobacter pylori; cagA; vacA; multilocus sequence typing; whole genome sequencing technology; next-generation sequencer
Previous studies have demonstrated that valosin-containing protein (VCP) is associated with H. pylori-induced gastric carcinogenesis. By identifying the interactome of VCP overexpressed in AGS cells using a subtractive proteomics approach, we aimed to characterize the cellular responses mediated by VCP and its functional roles in H. pylori-associated gastric cancer. VCP immunoprecipitations followed by proteomic analysis identified 288 putative interacting proteins, 18 VCP-binding proteins belonged to the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. H. pylori infection increased the interaction between Akt and VCP, Akt-dependent phosphorylation of VCP, levels of ubiquitinated proteins, and aggresome formation in AGS cells. Furthermore, phosphorylated VCP co-localized with the aggresome, bound ubiquitinated proteins, and increased the degradation of cellular regulators to protect H. pylori-infected AGS cells from apoptosis. Our study demonstrates that VCP phosphorylation following H. pylori infection promotes both gastric epithelial cell survival, mediated by the PI3K/Akt pathway, and the degradation of cellular regulators. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms of H. pylori infection induced gastric carcinogenesis.
There is increasing evidence from clinical and population studies for a role of H. pylori infection in the aetiology of iron deficiency. Rodent models of Helicobacter infection are helpful for investigating any causal links and mechanisms of iron deficiency in the host. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of gastric Helicobacter infection on iron deficiency and host iron metabolism/transport gene expression in hypergastrinemic INS-GAS mice. INS-GAS mice were infected with Helicobacter felis for 3, 6 and 9 months. At post mortem, blood was taken for assessment of iron status and gastric mucosa for pathology, immunohistology and analysis of gene expression. Chronic Helicobacter infection of INS- GAS mice resulted in decreased serum iron, transferrin saturation and hypoferritinemia and increased Total iron binding capacity (TIBC). Decreased serum iron concentrations were associated with a concomitant reduction in the number of parietal cells, strengthening the association between hypochlorhydria and gastric Helicobacter-induced iron deficiency. Infection with H. felis for nine months was associated with decreased gastric expression of iron metabolism regulators hepcidin, Bmp4 and Bmp6 but increased expression of Ferroportin 1, the iron efflux protein, iron absorption genes such as Divalent metal transporter 1, Transferrin receptor 1 and also Lcn2 a siderophore-binding protein. The INS-GAS mouse is therefore a useful model for studying Helicobacter-induced iron deficiency. Furthermore, the marked changes in expression of gastric iron transporters following Helicobacter infection may be relevant to the more rapid development of carcinogenesis in the Helicobacter infected INS-GAS model.
Gastric cancer is one of the most common and lethal malignant cancers worldwide, and numerous epidemiological studies have demonstrated that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection plays a key role in the development of gastric carcinomas. Our previous studies showed that aquaporin 3 (AQP3) is overexpressed in gastric carcinoma and promotes the migration and proliferation of human gastric carcinoma cells, suggesting that AQP3 may be a potentially important determinant of gastric carcinoma. However, the role of AQP3 in H. pylori carcinogenesis is unknown.
The AQP3 protein and H. pylori were detected in human gastric tissues by immunohistochemistry and modified Giemsa staining respectively. AQP3 knockdown was obtained by small interfering (si) RNA. Western blot assays and RT-PCR were used to evaluate the change of AQP3 in the human gastric cancer AGS and SGC7901 cell lines after co-culture with H. pylori. Sprague Dawley rats were orally inoculated with H. pylori to establish a rat model colonized by H. pylori.
The present study found that AQP3 expression correlated with H. pylori infection status in gastric cancer tissues and corresponding normal mucosa, and H. pylori co-culture upregulated AQP3 expression in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells in vitro via the extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway. H. pylori infection also increased AQP3 expression in gastric mucosa colonized by H. pylori in a Sprague Dawley rat model.
These findings provide further information to understand the mechanism of H. pylori carcinogenesis and a potential strategy for the treatment of H. pylori-associated gastric carcinoma.
The formation of a disulfide bond between two cysteine residues stabilizes protein structure. Although we now have a good understanding of the Escherichia coli disulfide formation system, the machineries at work in other bacteria, including pathogens, are poorly characterized. Thus, the objective of this work was to improve our understanding of the disulfide formation machinery of Helicobacter pylori, a leading cause of ulcers and a risk factor for stomach cancer worldwide.
Methods and Results
The protein HP0231 from H. pylori, a structural counterpart of E. coli DsbG, is the focus of this research. Its function was clarified by using a combination of biochemical, microbiological and genetic approaches. In particular, we determined the biochemical properties of HP0231 as well as its redox state in H. pylori cells.
Altogether our results show that HP0231 is an oxidoreductase that catalyzes disulfide bond formation in the periplasm. We propose to call it HpDsbA.
Infection with cagA-positive, cagA EPIYA motif ABD type, and vacA s1, m1, and i1 genotype strains of Helicobacter pylori is associated with an exacerbated inflammatory response and increased risk of gastroduodenal diseases. However, it is unclear whether the prevalence and virulence factor genotypes found in Southeast Asia are similar to those in Western countries. Here, we examined the cagA status and prevalence of cagA EPIYA motifs and vacA genotypes among H. pylori strains found in Southeast Asia and examined their association with gastroduodenal disease.
To determine the cagA status, cagA EPIYA motifs, and vacA genotypes of H. pylori, we conducted meta-analyses of 13 previous reports for 1,281 H. pylori strains detected from several Southeast Asian countries.
The respective frequencies of cagA-positive and vacA s1, m1, and i1 genotypes among examined subjects were 93% (1,056/1,133), 98% (1,010/1,033), 58% (581/1,009), and 96% (248/259), respectively. Stratification showed significant variation in the frequencies of cagA status and vacA genotypes among countries and the individual races residing within each respective country. The frequency of the vacA m-region genotype in patients infected with East Asian-type strains differed significantly between the northern and southern areas of Vietnam (p < 0.001). Infection with vacA m1 type or cagA-positive strains was associated with an increased risk of peptic ulcer disease (odds ratio: 1.46, 95%CI: 1.01-2.12, p = 0.046 and 2.83, 1.50-5.34, p = 0.001, respectively) in the examined Southeast Asian populations.
Both Western- and East Asian-type strains of H. pylori are found in Southeast Asia and are predominantly cagA-positive and vacA s1 type. In Southeast Asia, patients infected with vacA m1 type or cagA-positive strains have an increased risk of peptic ulcer disease. Thus, testing for this genotype and the presence of cagA may have clinical usefulness.
Helicobacter pylori; cagA; vacA; EPIYA; Gastric cancer; Peptic ulcer disease; Southeast Asian
In the past decade, researchers have proposed that the pldA gene for outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA) is important for bacterial colonization of the human gastric ventricle. Several conserved Helicobacter pylori genes have distinct genotypes in different parts of the world, biogeographic patterns that can be analyzed through phylogenetic trees. The current study will shed light on the importance of the pldA gene in H. pylori. In silico sequence analysis will be used to investigate whether the bacteria are in the process of preserving, optimizing, or rejecting the pldA gene. The pldA gene will be phylogenetically compared to other housekeeping (HK) genes, and a possible origin via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) will be evaluated through both intra- and inter-species evolutionary analyses.
In this study, pldA gene sequences were phylogenetically analyzed and compared with a large reference set of concatenated HK gene sequences. A total of 246 pldA nucleotide sequences were used; 207 were from Norwegian isolates, 20 were from Korean isolates, and 19 were from the NCBI database. Best-fit evolutionary models were determined with MEGA5 ModelTest for the pldA (K80 + I + G) and HK (GTR + I + G) sequences, and maximum likelihood trees were constructed. Both HK and pldA genes showed biogeographic clustering. Horizontal gene transfer was inferred based on significantly different GC contents, the codon adaptation index, and a phylogenetic conflict between a tree of OMPLA protein sequences representing 171 species and a tree of the AtpA HK protein for 169 species. Although a vast majority of the residues in OMPLA were predicted to be under purifying selection, sites undergoing positive selection were also found.
Our findings indicate that the pldA gene could have been more recently acquired than seven of the HK genes found in H. pylori. However, the common biogeographic patterns of both the HK and pldA sequences indicated that the transfer occurred long ago. Our results indicate that the bacterium is preserving the function of OMPLA, although some sites are still being evolutionarily optimized.
OMPLA; pldA; Phospholipase A; Outer membrane; Helicobacter pylori; Biogeography; Adaptation
Background and aims
jhp0562 and β-(1,3)galT (jhp0563) of Helicobacter pylori have been suggested as novel virulent factors; however the clinical associations and functions of these genes remain unclear. We examined the prevalence of jhp0562, β-(1,3)galT, and cagA in the United States (U.S.) and Japanese populations.
A total of 308 strains (171 from the U.S. and 137 from Japan) were examined for the status of jhp0562, β-(1,3)galT, and cagA by polymerase chain reaction.
There were significant differences in the status of jhp0562, β-(1,3)galT and cagA between the U.S. and Japanese populations (P < 0.001). In the U.S., the prevalence of β-(1,3)galT was significantly lower in strains isolated from patients with duodenal ulcer (DU) or gastric ulcer (GU) than those with gastritis (47.8% and 32.1% vs. 72.0%, P < 0.01), and the absence of β-(1,3)galT was an independent factor discriminating DU and GU from gastritis (adjusted odds ratios, 4.21 and 8.52; 95% confidence intervals, 1.75 to 10.12 and 2.76 to 26.33, respectively). In the U.S., the prevalence of the jhp0562-positive/β-(1,3)galT-negative genotype was significantly higher in strains from DU and GU patients than in those from gastritis patients (50.0%, 67.9%, and 24.4%, P < 0.01) and the cagA status was significantly correlated with that of jhp0562 and inversely correlated with that of β-(1,3)galT. In contrast, the prevalence of these three genes was not significantly different in Japan.
jhp0562 or β-(1,3)galT can be used to discriminate peptic ulcers from gastritis in the U.S., but not in Japan.
Helicobacter pylori; jhp0562; β-(1,3)galT; glycosyltransferase
The incidence of gastric cancer in Okinawa is lowest in Japan. Some previous reports using small number of strains suggested that the high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori with Western-type cagA in Okinawa compared to other areas in Japan might contribute to the low incidence of gastric cancer. It has still not been confirmed why the prevalence of Western-type cagA strains is high in Okinawa. We examined the association between the virulence factors of H. pylori and gastroduodenal diseases in Okinawa. The genotypes of cagA and vacA of 337 H. pylori strains were determined by PCR and gene sequencing. The genealogy of these Western-type cagA strains in Okinawa was analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Overall, 86.4% of the strains possessed cagA: 70.3% were East-Asian type and 16.0% were Western type. After adjustment by age and sex, the presence of East-Asian-type cagA/vacA s1m1 genotypes was significantly associated with gastric cancer compared to gastritis (odds ratio = 6.68, 95% confidence interval = 1.73 to 25.8). The structure of Western-type CagA in Okinawa was different from that of typical Western-type CagA found in Western countries. Intriguingly, MLST analysis revealed that the majority of Western-type cagA strains formed individual clusters but not hpEurope. Overall, low prevalence of gastric cancer in Okinawa may result from the high prevalence of non-East-Asian-type cagA strains. The origin of Western-type cagA strains in Okinawa may be different from those of Western countries.
Helicobacter pylori is one of the most diverse bacterial species that chronically infects more than 70% of Indian population. Interestingly, data showing microdiversity of the H. pylori strains within a particular gastric niche remained scarce. To understand the extent of genetic diversity among H. pylori strains within a given host, 30 patients with gastro-duodenal problems were subjected to endoscopy and from each patient 10 single colonies were isolated. Characterization of each of these 10 single colonies by DNA fingerprinting as well as genotyping of several important genetic markers viz. cagA, vacA, iceA, vapD, cag PAI empty site, IS605, RFLP and two other genetic segments within cag PAI revealed that all of the 30 patients were infected with more than one strain and sometimes strains with 5 to 6 types of genetic variants. Analyses of certain genetic loci showed the microdiversity among the colonies from single patient, which may be due to the recombination events during long-term carriage of the pathogen. These results suggest that most of the patients have acquired H. pylori due to repeated exposure to this pathogen with different genetic make-up, which may increase the possibility of super infections. Genetic exchanges between these unrelated H. pylori strains may support certain H. pylori variant to grow better in a given host than the parental strain and thereby increasing the possibility for the severity of the infection.
The plasticity region of Helicobacter pylori is a large chromosomal segment including isolate-specific open reading frames with characteristics of pathogenicity islands. It remains unclear whether genes in the plasticity region play a role in the pathogenesis of gastric mucosal inflammation and gastroduodenal disease. Our aim was to assess the role of selected genes in the plasticity region in relation to risk of H. pylori-related disease and the severity of gastric mucosal damage. We used PCR to study the relation of disease outcome and mucosal damage with four genes in the H. pylori plasticity region (jhp0940, jhp0945, jhp0947, and jhp0949) from isolates obtained from both Western (n = 296) and East Asian (n = 217) patients. The prevalence of jhp0945, jhp0947, and jhp0949 differed significantly between Western and East Asian isolates. In Western isolates, the presence of jhp0945 was significantly associated with gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer (odds ratios [95% confidence intervals]: 2.27 [1.04 to 4.98], 1.86 [1.03 to 3.34], and 1.92 [1.03 to 3.56], respectively). jhp0940-positive Western isolates were significantly associated with absence of gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer (0.21 [0.05 to 0.94] and 0.31 [0.12 to 0.78], respectively). No significant difference was observed between inflammatory cell infiltration or atrophy and the presence or absence of plasticity region genes. The outcome of H. pylori infections varies widely geographically. These data suggest a possible role for difference in the prevalence of plasticity region genes in the geographic variation in H. pylori-related diseases.
The renin–angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in normal homeostasis, carcinogenesis-related angiogenesis, and cell proliferation. Helicobacter pylori infection causes infiltration of inflammatory cells into the gastric mucosa and is considered the major cause of gastric cancer. Whether RAS plays a role in H. pylori infection-related gastric diseases remains unclear. We investigated the changes in gastric mucosal angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) and type 2 receptor (AT2R) mRNA levels throughout the time course of H. pylori infection in Mongolian gerbils.
Mongolian gerbils were infected with wild-type H. pylori (for 12 months) or with its isogenic oipA mutant (for 3 months). Gastric mucosal AT1R and AT2R mRNA levels were assessed using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
The gastric mucosal AT1R mRNA level was significantly associated with the severity of inflammatory cell infiltration into the gastric mucosa that reached maximal levels at 12 months after infection in both the antrum and body. Inflammatory cell infiltration scores and AT1R and AT2R mRNA levels were significantly lower in oipA mutant than wild-type infections. Mucosal AT1R and AT2R mRNA expressions in wild-type H. pylori-infected gerbils with gastric ulcers were significantly higher than in those without ulcers (P <0.01).
Gastric mucosal ATR expression gradually increases during the course of H. pylori infection. Up-regulation of the RAS in association with progressive gastric inflammation suggests a potential role of the RAS in gastric carcinogenesis. OipA appears to play a role in AT1R and AT2R expression and the resulting inflammation.
H. pylori; Angiotensin II type 1 receptor; Mongolian gerbil; OipA; Renin–angiotensin system
Helicobacter pylori VacA induces multiple effects on susceptible cells, including vacuolation, mitochondrial damage, inhibition of cell growth, and enhanced cyclooxygenase-2 expression. To assess the ability of H. pylori to modulate the production of inflammatory mediators, we examined the mechanisms by which VacA enhanced IL-8 production by promonocytic U937 cells, which demonstrated the greatest VacA-induced IL-8 release of the cells tested. Inhibitors of p38 MAPK (SB203580), ERK1/2 (PD98059), IκBα ((E)-3-(4-methylphenylsulfonyl)-2-propenenitrile), Ca2+ entry (SKF96365), and intracellular Ca2+ channels (dantrolene) blocked VacA-induced IL-8 production. Furthermore, an intracellular Ca2+ chelator (BAPTA-AM), which inhibited VacA-activated p38 MAPK, caused a dose-dependent reduction in VacA-induced IL-8 secretion by U937 cells, implying a role for intracellular Ca2+ in mediating activation of MAPK and the canonical NF-κB pathway. VacA stimulated translocation of NF-κBp65 to the nucleus, consistent with enhancement of IL-8 expression by activation of the NF-κB pathway. In addition, small interfering RNA of activating transcription factor (ATF)-2 or CREB, which is a p38MAPK substrate and binds to the AP-1 site of the IL-8 promoter, inhibited VacA-induced IL-8 production. VacA activated an IL-8 promoter containing an NF-IL-6 site, but not a mutated AP-1 or NF-κB site, suggesting direct involvement of the ATF-2/CREB binding region or NF-κB-binding regions in VacA-induced IL-8 promoter activation. Thus, in U937 cells, VacA directly increases IL-8 production by activation of the p38 MAPK via intracellular Ca2+ release, leading to activation of the transcription factors, ATF-2, CREB, and NF-κB.
CC chemokine ligand 20 (CCL20) attracts CC chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6)-expressing cells. Using endoscopic biopsies taken from the gastric antrum of 42 subjects infected with H. pylori and 42 uninfected subjects, mucosal CCL20 mRNA and protein levels were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. CCL19 mRNA and protein levels, as well as CCL21 mRNA levels, were also measured. The CCL20 mRNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in H. pylori-positive patients and substantially decreased after successful eradication. CCL19 and CCL21 expression levels were comparable in the H. pylori-infected and the uninfected groups. The CCL20 concentrations correlated with the degree of chronic gastritis. Immunohistochemistry and the in vitro infection assay showed that CCL20 was principally produced by the gastric epithelium. CCR6-expressing cells, including CD45RO+ memory T lymphocytes and fascin+-CD1a+ immature dendritic cells, infiltrated close to the CCL20-expressing epithelial cells. The CCL20/CCR6 interaction may be involved in the development of H. pylori-associated gastritis.
CC chemokine ligand 20; CC chemokine receptor 6; H. pylori; Dendritic cells; cag pathogenicity island
Helicobacter pylori is a major human pathogen that infects the stomach and produces inflammation that is responsible for various gastroduodenal diseases. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infections in Africa and South Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer in these areas is much lower than in other countries. The incidence of gastric cancer also tends to decrease from north to south in East Asia. Data from molecular epidemiological studies show that this variation in different geographic areas could be explained in part by different types of H. pylori virulence factors, especially CagA, VacA, and OipA. H. pylori infection is thought to be involved in both gastric cancer and duodenal ulcer, which are at opposite ends of the disease spectrum. This discrepancy can also be explained in part by another H. pylori factor, DupA, as well as by CagA typing (East Asian type versus Western type). H. pylori has a genome of approximately 1,600 genes; therefore, there might be other novel virulence factors. Because genome wide analyses using whole-genome sequencing technology give a broad view of the genome of H. pylori, we hope that next-generation sequencers will enable us to efficiently investigate novel virulence factors.
The duodenal ulcer promoting (dupA) gene, located in the plasticity region of Helicobacter pylori, is associated with duodenal ulcer development. dupA was predicted to form a type IV secretory system (T4SS) with vir genes around dupA (dupA cluster). We investigated the prevalence of dupA and dupA clusters and clarified associations between the dupA cluster status and clinical outcomes in the U.S. population. In all, 245 H. pylori strains were examined using PCR to evaluate the status of dupA and the adjacent vir genes predicted to form T4SS, in addition to the status of cag pathogenicity island (PAI). The associations between dupA cluster status and interleukin-8 (IL-8) and IL-12 production were also examined. The presence of dupA and all adjacent vir genes were defined as a complete dupA cluster. Many variations related to the status of dupA and dupA cluster genes were identified. Concurrent H. pylori infection and the presence of a complete dupA cluster increases duodenal ulcer risk compared to H. pylori infection with incomplete dupA cluster or without the dupA gene independent on the cag PAI status (adjusted odds ratio, 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 4.03). Gastric mucosal IL-8 levels were also significantly higher in the complete dupA cluster group than in other groups (P = 0.01). In conclusion, although the causal relationship between the dupA cluster and duodenal ulcer development is not proved, the presence of a complete dupA cluster but not dupA alone, is associated with duodenal ulcer development.
The bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum is a plant known to be carcinogenic to animals. Epidemiological studies have shown an association between bracken fern exposure and gastric cancer development in humans. The biological effects of exposure to this plant within the gastric carcinogenesis process are not fully understood. In the present work, effects in the gastric mucosa of mice treated with Pteridium aquilinum were evaluated, as well as molecular mechanisms underlying the synergistic role with Helicobacter pylori infection. Our results showed that exposure to Pteridium aquilinum induces histomorphological modifications including increased expression of acidic glycoconjugates in the gastric mucosa. The transcriptome analysis of gastric mucosa showed that upon exposure to Pteridium aquilinum several glycosyltransferase genes were differently expressed, including Galntl4, C1galt1 and St3gal2, that are mainly involved in the biosynthesis of simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens. Concomitant treatment with Pteridium aquilinum and infection with Helicobacter pylori also resulted in differently expressed glycosyltransferase genes underlying the biosynthesis of terminal sialylated Lewis antigens, including Sialyl-Lewisx. These results disclose the molecular basis for the altered pattern of glycan structures observed in the mice gastric mucosa. The gene transcription alterations and the induced glycophenotypic changes observed in the gastric mucosa contribute for the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of Pteridium aquilinum in the gastric carcinogenesis process.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a gram-negative, spiral-shaped bacterium that infects more than half of the world’s population and is a major cause of gastric adenocarcinoma. The mechanisms that link H. pylori infection to gastric carcinogenesis are not well understood. In the present study, we report that the Raf-kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) has a role in the induction of apoptosis by H. pylori in gastric epithelial cells. Western blot and luciferase transcription reporter assays demonstrate that the pathogenicity island of H. pylori rapidly phosphorylates RKIP, which then localizes to the nucleus where it activates its own transcription and induces apoptosis. Forced overexpression of RKIP enhances apoptosis in H. pylori-infected cells, whereas RKIP RNA inhibition suppresses the induction of apoptosis by H. pylori infection. While inducing the phosphorylation of RKIP, H. pylori simultaneously targets non-phosphorylated RKIP for proteasome-mediated degradation. The increase in RKIP transcription and phosphorylation is abrogated by mutating RKIP serine 153 to valine, demonstrating that regulation of RKIP activity by H. pylori is dependent upon RKIP’s S153 residue. In addition, H. pylori infection increases the expression of Snail, a transcriptional repressor of RKIP. Our results suggest that H. pylori utilizes a tumor suppressor protein, RKIP, to promote apoptosis in gastric cancer cells.
Helicobacter pylori colonizes the mucus niche of the gastric mucosa and is a risk factor for gastritis, ulcers and cancer. The main components of the mucus layer are heavily glycosylated mucins, to which H. pylori can adhere. Mucin glycosylation differs between individuals and changes during disease. Here we have examined the H. pylori response to purified mucins from a range of tumor and normal human gastric tissue samples. Our results demonstrate that mucins from different individuals differ in how they modulate both proliferation and gene expression of H. pylori. The mucin effect on proliferation varied significantly between samples, and ranged from stimulatory to inhibitory, depending on the type of mucins and the ability of the mucins to bind to H. pylori. Tumor-derived mucins and mucins from the surface mucosa had potential to stimulate proliferation, while gland-derived mucins tended to inhibit proliferation and mucins from healthy uninfected individuals showed little effect. Artificial glycoconjugates containing H. pylori ligands also modulated H. pylori proliferation, albeit to a lesser degree than human mucins. Expression of genes important for the pathogenicity of H. pylori (babA, sabA, cagA, flaA and ureA) appeared co-regulated in response to mucins. The addition of mucins to co-cultures of H. pylori and gastric epithelial cells protected the viability of the cells and modulated the cytokine production in a manner that differed between individuals, was partially dependent of adhesion of H. pylori to the gastric cells, but also revealed that other mucin factors in addition to adhesion are important for H. pylori-induced host signaling. The combined data reveal host-specific effects on proliferation, gene expression and virulence of H. pylori due to the gastric mucin environment, demonstrating a dynamic interplay between the bacterium and its host.
CagA of Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium-derived oncogenic protein closely associated with the development of gastric cancers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of widespread non-coding RNAs, many of which are involved in cell growth, cell differentiation and tumorigenesis. The relationship between CagA protein and miRNAs is unclear. Using mammalian miRNA profile microarrays, we found that miRNA-584 and miRNA-1290 expression was up-regulated in CagA-transformed cells, miRNA-1290 was up-regulated in an Erk1/2-dependent manner, and miRNA-584 was activated by NF-κB. miRNA-584 sustained Erk1/2 activities through inhibition of PPP2a activities, and miRNA-1290 activated NF-κB by knockdown of NKRF. Foxa1 was revealed to be an important target of miRNA-584 and miRNA-1290. Knockdown of Foxa1 promoted the epithelial-mesenchymal transition significantly. Overexpression of miRNA-584 and miRNA-1290 induced intestinal metaplasia of gastric epithelial cells in knock-in mice. These results indicate that miRNA-584 and miRNA-1290 interfere with cell differentiation and remodel the tissues. Thus, the miRNA pathway is a new pathogenic mechanism of CagA.
Helicobacter pylori outer membrane proteins, such as the blood group antigen–binding adhesin (BabA), are associated with severe pathological outcomes. However, the in vivo role of BabA during long-term infection is not clear. In this study, Mongolian gerbils were infected with H. pylori and necropsied continuously during 18 months. Bacterial clones were recovered and analyzed for BabA expression, Leb-binding activity, and adhesion to gastric mucosa. BabA expression was completely absent by 6 months post-infection. Loss of BabA expression was attributable to nucleotide changes within the babA gene that resulted in a truncated BabA. In response to the infection, changes in the epithelial glycosylation pattern were observed that were similar to responses observed in humans and monkeys. Furthermore, infections with BabA-expressing and BabA-nonexpressing H. pylori showed no differences in colonization, but infection with the BabA-expressing strain exhibited histological changes and increased inflammatory cell infiltration. This suggests that BabA expression contributes to severe mucosal injury.
Many bacterial pathogens inject into host cells effector proteins that are substrates for host tyrosine kinases such as Src and Abl family kinases. Phosphorylated effectors eventually subvert host cell signaling, aiding disease development. In the case of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori, which is a major risk factor for the development of gastric cancer, the only known effector protein injected into host cells is the oncoprotein CagA. Here, we followed the hierarchic tyrosine phosphorylation of H. pylori CagA as a model system to study early effector phosphorylation processes. Translocated CagA is phosphorylated on Glu-Pro-Ile-Tyr-Ala (EPIYA) motifs EPIYA-A, EPIYA-B, and EPIYA-C in Western strains of H. pylori and EPIYA-A, EPIYA-B, and EPIYA-D in East Asian strains. We found that c-Src only phosphorylated EPIYA-C and EPIYA-D, whereas c-Abl phosphorylated EPIYA-A, EPIYA-B, EPIYA-C, and EPIYA-D. Further analysis revealed that CagA molecules were phosphorylated on 1 or 2 EPIYA motifs, but never simultaneously on 3 motifs. Furthermore, none of the phosphorylated EPIYA motifs alone was sufficient for inducing AGS cell scattering and elongation. The preferred combination of phosphorylated EPIYA motifs in Western strains was EPIYA-A and EPIYA-C, either across 2 CagA molecules or simultaneously on 1. Our study thus identifies a tightly regulated hierarchic phosphorylation model for CagA starting at EPIYA-C/D, followed by phosphorylation of EPIYA-A or EPIYA-B. These results provide insight for clinical H. pylori typing and clarify the role of phosphorylated bacterial effector proteins in pathogenesis.
Although the iceA (induced by contact with epithelium) allelic types of Helicobacter pylori have been reported to be associated with peptic ulcer, the importance of iceA on clinical outcomes based on subsequent studies is controversial. The aim of this study was to estimate the magnitude of the risk for clinical outcomes associated with iceA.
A literature search was performed using the PubMed and EMBASE databases for articles published through April 2011. Published case-control studies examining the relationship between iceA and clinical outcomes (gastritis, peptic ulcer, including gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer) were included.
Fifty studies with a total of 5,357 patients were identified in the search. Infection with iceA1-positive H. pylori increased the overall risk for peptic ulcer by 1.26-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09–1.45). However, the test for heterogeneity was significant among these studies. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of iceA1 was significantly associated with peptic ulcer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.08–1.44). The presence of iceA2 was inversely associated with peptic ulcer (OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.65–0.89). The presence of iceA was not associated with gastric cancer. Most studies examined the cagA status; however, only 15 studies examined the correlation and only 2 showed a positive correlation between the presence of cagA and iceA1.
Our meta-analysis confirmed the importance of the presence of iceA for peptic ulcer, although the significance was marginal.