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Methods. 2000 Jun;21(2):151-7.

Helicobacter pylori interactions with plasminogen.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, Lund University, Sölvegatan 23, Lund, S-223 62, Sweden.


Helicobacter pylori is the causative agent of chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric malignancies. A number of virulence factors have been described including several adhesins, a cytotoxin, neutrophil-activating protein, and expression of binding of extracellular matrix proteins, like collagen type IV, laminin, and vitronectin. H. pylori strains commonly express binding of soluble plasminogen. Coccoid forms also express binding. Plasminogen binding was optimal at pH 7.0. The binding is mediated by two cell surface proteins of 42 and 57 kDa. Scatchard plot analysis showed a straight line with a K(d) of 7 x 10(-7) M. Lysine and E-aminocaproic acid inhibited binding. The binding domain on the plasminogen molecule is the fifth kringle, miniplasminogen. Plasminogen is converted to plasmin by tissue plasminogen activator. During H. pylori infection the activity of tissue plasminogen activator is decreased and that of urokinase increased. This is reversed after eradication therapy. The plasminogen binding and conversion to plasmin is the only proteolytic activity of H. pylori, and may enhance tissue penetration and be involved in carcinogenesis.

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