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Glycobiology. 2008 Jul;18(7):549-58. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwn037. Epub 2008 May 5.

Alpha1,4GlcNAc-capped mucin-type O-glycan inhibits cholesterol alpha-glucosyltransferase from Helicobacter pylori and suppresses H. pylori growth.

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  • 1Tumor Microenvironment Program, Glycobiology Unit, Cancer Center, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Helicobacter pylori infects over half of the world's population and is thought to be a leading cause of gastric ulcer, gastric carcinoma, and gastric malignant lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type. Previously, we reported that a gland mucin (MUC6) present in the lower portion of the gastric mucosa containing alpha1,4-N-acetylglucosamine (alpha1,4GlcNAc)-capped core 2-branched O-glycans suppresses H. pylori growth by inhibiting the synthesis of alpha-glucosyl cholesterol, a major constituent of the H. pylori cell wall (Kawakubo et al. 2004. Science. 305:1003-1006). Therefore, we cloned the genomic DNA encoding cholesterol alpha-glucosyltransferase (HP0421) and expressed its soluble form in Escherichia coli. Using this soluble HP0421, we show herein that HP0421 sequentially acts on uridine diphosphoglucose and cholesterol in an ordered Bi-Bi manner. We found that competitive inhibition of HP0421 by alpha1,4GlcNAc-capped core 2-branched O-glycan is much more efficient than noncompetitive inhibition by newly synthesized alpha-glucosyl cholesterol. Utilizing synthetic oligosaccharides, alpha-glucosyl cholesterol, and monosaccharides, we found that alpha1,4GlcNAc-capped core 2-branched O-glycan most efficiently inhibits H. pylori growth. These findings together indicate that alpha1,4GlcNAc-capped O-glycans suppress H. pylori growth by inhibiting HP0421, and that alpha1,4GlcNAc-capped core 2 O-glycans may be useful to treat patients infected with H. pylori.

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