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ABSTRACT: The detection of the putative disease-specific Helicobacter pylori marker duodenal ulcer promoting gene A (dupA) is currently based on PCR detection of jhp0917 and jhp0918 that form the gene. However, mutations that lead to premature stop codons that split off the dupA leading to truncated products cannot be evaluated by PCR.
We directly sequence the complete dupA of 75 dupA-positive strains of H. pylori isolated from patients with gastritis (n = 26), duodenal ulcer (n = 29), and gastric carcinoma (n = 20), to search for frame-shifting mutations that lead to stop codon.
Thirty-four strains had single nucleotide mutations in dupA that lead to premature stop codon creating smaller products than the predicted 1839 bp product and, for this reason, were considered as dupA-negative. Intact dupA was more frequently observed in strains isolated from duodenal ulcer patients (65.5%) than in patients with gastritis only (46.2%) or with gastric carcinoma (50%). In logistic analysis, the presence of the intact dupA independently associated with duodenal ulcer (OR = 5.06; 95% CI = 1.22-20.96, p = .02).
We propose the primer walking methodology as a simple technique to sequence the gene. When we considered as dupA-positive only those strains that carry dupA gene without premature stop codons, the gene was associated with duodenal ulcer and, therefore, can be used as a marker for this disease in our population.
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