Urease activity and urea gene sequencing of coccoid forms of H. pylori induced by different factors.
ABSTRACT Helicobacter pylori exists in two morphologic forms: spiral shaped and coccoid. The nonculturable coccoid forms were believed to be the morphologic manifestations of cell death for a long time. However, recent studies indicate the viability of such forms. This form of H. pylori is now suspected to play a role in the transmission of the bacteria and is partly responsible for relapse of infection after antimicrobial treatment. Urease activity of H. pylori is an important maintenance factor. Determination of urease activity and possible mutations in the DNA sequences of coccoid bacteria will hence contribute to the understanding of pathogenesis of infections, which these forms might be responsible for. In this study, our aim was to analyze the urease activity and investigate the urease gene sequences of coccoid H. pylori forms induced by different factors with respect to the spiral form. For this purpose, the urease activities of H. pylori NCTC 11637 standard strain and two clinical isolates were examined before and after transformation of the cells to coccoid forms by different methods such as exposure to amoxicillin, aerobiosis, cold starvation, and aging. The effects of these conditions on the urease gene were examined by the amplification of 411-bp ureA gene and 115-bp ureB gene regions by PCR technique and sequencing of the ureA gene. The urease activities of coccoid cells were found to be lower than those of the spiral form. ureA and ureB gene regions were amplified in all coccoid cells by PCR. Inducing the change to coccoid form by different methods was found to have no effect on the nucleotide sequence of the ureA gene. These results show that the urease gene region of coccoid H. pylori is highly protected under various mild environmental conditions.
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ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori exists as an actively dividing spiral form and a nonculturable, but viable, metabolizing coccoid form. Both forms are present in the stomach, but their relative pathophysiologic significances are unknown. Here we show that the coccoid form of H. pylori, in contrast to the spiral form, binds poorly to gastric epithelial cells and induces little, if any, interleukin-8 secretion by these cells.Infection and Immunity 03/1997; 65(2):843-6. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As viability of coccoid forms of Helicobacter pylori can only be verified by demonstrating the integrity of the DNA and active protein synthesis, we analysed the expression of ureA, cagA, vacA genes after prolonged incubation in a liquid medium. Exponentially growing and ageing phase cultures were used. Our results showed that, although the coccoid forms had decreased DNA and RNA levels after 31 days, they were not degraded and still expressed the urease, cytotoxic island and vacuolating toxin genes. Coccoid forms are therefore viable and may act as a transmissible agent that plays a crucial role in disease relapses after antibiotic therapy.International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 09/2000; 15(4):277-82. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is responsible for peptic ulcers and neoplasia. Both in vitro and in the human stomach it can be found in two forms, the bacillary and coccoid forms. The molecular mechanisms of the morphological transition between these two forms and the role of coccoids remain largely unknown. The peptidoglycan (PG) layer is a major determinant of bacterial cell shape, and therefore we studied H. pylori PG structure during the morphological transition. The transition correlated with an accumulation of the N-acetyl-D-glucosaminyl-beta(1,4)-N-acetylmuramyl-L-Ala-D-Glu (GM-dipeptide) motif. We investigated the molecular mechanisms responsible for the GM-dipeptide motif accumulation, and studied the role of various putative PG hydrolases in this process. Interestingly, a mutant strain with a mutation in the amiA gene, encoding a putative PG hydrolase, was impaired in accumulating the GM-dipeptide motif and transforming into coccoids. We investigated the role of the morphological transition and the PG modification in the biology of H. pylori. PG modification and transformation of H. pylori was accompanied by an escape from detection by human Nod1 and the absence of NF-kappaB activation in epithelial cells. Accordingly, coccoids were unable to induce IL-8 secretion by AGS gastric epithelial cells. amiA is, to our knowledge, the first genetic determinant discovered to be required for this morphological transition into the coccoid forms, and therefore contributes to modulation of the host response and participates in the chronicity of H. pylori infection.PLoS Pathogens 10/2006; 2(9):e97. · 8.14 Impact Factor