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Gut Microbes. 2013 Nov-Dec;4(6):439-53. doi: 10.4161/gmic.25721. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Colonize, evade, flourish: how glyco-conjugates promote virulence of Helicobacter pylori.

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  • 1Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology; The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, TX USA.
  • 2Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology; The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, TX USA; Department of Molecular Biosciences; The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, TX USA.

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori is an adapted gastric pathogen that colonizes the human stomach, causing severe gastritis and gastric cancer. A hallmark of infection is the ability of this organism to evade detection by the human immune system. H. pylori has evolved a number of features to achieve this, many of which involve glyco-conjugates including the lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan layer, glycoproteins, and glucosylated cholesterol. These major bacterial components possess unique features from those of other gram-negative organisms, including differences in structure, assembly, and modification. These defining characteristics of H. pylori glycobiology help the pathogen establish a long-lived infection by providing camouflage, modulating the host immune response, and promoting virulence mechanisms. In this way, glyco-conjugates are essential for H. pylori pathogenicity and survival, allowing it to carve out a niche in the formidable environment of the human stomach.

KEYWORDS:

H. pylori; LPS transport; Lewis antigens; immune evasion; lipid A; lipopolysaccharide; outer membrane; peptidoglycan

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