Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been linked to various gastro-intestinal diseases; nevertheless it remains to be clarified why only a minority of infected individuals develop illness. Studies from the West have indicated that the cagA gene and the associated EPIYA genotype of H. pylori is closely linked to the development of severe gastritis and gastric carcinoma; however, as yet no consistent correlation has been found among the bacteria from East Asia. In addition to genotype variation, the CagA protein undergoes fragmentation; however, the functional significance of fragmentation with respect to H. pylori infection remains unknown. In this study, we isolated 594 H. pylori colonies from 99 patients and examined the fragmentation patterns of CagA protein using immunoblotting. By analyzing the ability of the isolates to induce the host cell morphological transition to the highly invasive hummingbird phenotype, we demonstrated that H. pylori colonies with substantial CagA fragmentation are less potent in terms of causing this morphological transition. Our results uncovered a functional role for CagA fragmentation with respect to H. pylori-induced hummingbird phenotype formation and these findings suggest the possibility that the posttranslational processing of CagA may be involved in H. pylori infection pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)