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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Aug;61(4):847-60.

The diverse antioxidant systems of Helicobacter pylori.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori induces a strong inflammatory host response, yet the bacterium maintains long-term persistence in the host. H. pylori combats oxidative stress via a battery of diverse activities, some of which are unique or newly described. In addition to using the well-studied bacterial oxidative stress resistance enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, H. pylori depends on a family of peroxiredoxins (alkylhydroperoxide reductase, bacterioferritin co-migratory protein and a thiol-peroxidase) that function to detoxify organic peroxides. Newly described antioxidant proteins include a soluble NADPH quinone reductase (MdaB) and an iron sequestering protein (NapA) that has dual roles - host inflammation stimulation and minimizing reactive oxygen species production within H. pylori. An H. pylori arginase attenuates host inflammation, a thioredoxin required as a reductant for many oxidative stress enzymes is also a chaperon, and some novel properties of KatA and AhpC were discovered. To repair oxidative DNA damage, H. pylori uses an endonuclease (Nth), DNA recombination pathways and a newly described type of bacterial MutS2 that specifically recognizes 8-oxoguanine. A methionine sulphoxide reductase (Msr) plays a role in reducing the overall oxidized protein content of the cell, although it specifically targets oxidized Met residues. H. pylori possess few stress regulator proteins, but the key roles of a ferric uptake regulator (Fur) and a post-transcriptional regulator CsrA in antioxidant protein expression are described. The roles of all of these antioxidant systems have been addressed by a targeted mutant analysis approach and almost all are shown to be important in host colonization. The described antioxidant systems in H. pylori are expected to be relevant to many bacterial-associated diseases, as genes for most of the enzymes carrying out the newly described roles are present in a number of pathogenic bacteria.

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