Single-step PCR amplification and enzyme restriction analysis of the entire Helicobacter pylori cytotoxin vacA gene for genetic variability studies.
ABSTRACT To monitor changes along the entire Helicobacter pylori vac A gene we carried out full-length single-step PCR amplification in 21 gastritis and gastric cancer isolates. HindIII restriction analysis led us to detect a > 400-bp internal insertion in vacA subsequently shown to be a direct 451-bp gene duplication. We found HindIII profiles for 16 genes that allowed their grouping into two restriction patterns that were related to theoretical profiles for previously sequenced Western genes. Comparisons with theoretical HindIII patterns for Japanese isolates appear suggestive of geographical H. pylori clonality. Full-length single-step PCR amplification seems suitable for quick restriction pattern assignment and detection of gene size changes.
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ABSTRACT: Clinical isolates of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori display a high level of genetic macro- and microheterogeneity, featuring a panmictic, rather than clonal structure. The ability of H. pylori to survive the stomach acid is due, in part, to the arginase-urease enzyme system. Arginase (RocF) hydrolyzes L-arginine to L-ornithine and urea, and urease hydrolyzes urea to carbon dioxide and ammonium, which can neutralize acid. The degree of variation in arginase was explored at the DNA sequence, enzyme activity and protein expression levels. To this end, arginase activity was measured from 73 minimally-passaged clinical isolates and six laboratory-adapted strains of H. pylori. The rocF gene from 21 of the strains was cloned into genetically stable E. coli and the enzyme activities measured. Arginase activity was found to substantially vary (>100-fold) in both different H. pylori strains and in the E. coli model. Western blot analysis revealed a positive correlation between activity and amount of protein expressed in most H. pylori strains. Several H. pylori strains featured altered arginase activity upon in vitro passage. Pairwise alignments of the 21 rocF genes plus strain J99 revealed extensive microheterogeneity in the promoter region and 3' end of the rocF coding region. Amino acid S232, which was I232 in the arginase-negative clinical strain A2, was critical for arginase activity. These studies demonstrated that H. pylori arginase exhibits extensive genotypic and phenotypic variation which may be used to understand mechanisms of microheterogeneity in H. pylori.BMC Microbiology 01/2007; 7:26. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Helicobacter pylori infection of gastric mucosa is one of the most common infectious diseases and is associated with a variety of clinical outcomes, including peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Helicobacter pylori-induced damage to gastric mucosal cells is controlled by bacterial virulence factors, which include VacA and CagA. Outer membrane vesicles are constantly shed by the bacteria and can provide an additional mechanism for pathogenicity by releasing non-secretable factors which can then interact with epithelial cells. The present report shows that external membrane vesicles are able to induce apoptosis not mediated by mitochondrial pathway in gastric (AGS) epithelial cells, as demonstrated by the lack of cytochrome c release with an activation of caspase 8 and 3. Apoptosis induced by these vesicles does not require a classic VacA+ phenotype, as a negative strain with a truncated and therefore non-secretable form of this protein can also induce cell death. These results should be taken into account in future studies of H. pylori pathogenicity in strains apparently VacA-.FEMS Microbiology Letters 08/2006; 260(2):178-85. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Up to 28-fold differences in vacA expression in Helicobacter pylori strains grown in vitro were demonstrated by real time quantitative RT-PCR. These large differences in expression were unrelated to putative -35 and -10 motifs or to other untranslated sequences upstream of the ATG start site. The lack of correlation between promoter sequences and the vacA expression levels suggest the potential existence of a bacterial strain-specific factor, as earlier proposed by others on the basis of reporter gene fusions.Microbial Pathogenesis 10/2004; 37(3):163-7. · 1.97 Impact Factor