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PLoS Pathog. 2009 May;5(5):e1000407. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000407. Epub 2009 May 1.

Helicobacter pylori usurps cell polarity to turn the cell surface into a replicative niche.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori (Hp) intimately interacts with the gastric epithelial surface and translocates the virulence factor CagA into host cells in a contact-dependent manner. To study how Hp benefits from interacting with the cell surface, we developed live-cell microscopy methods to follow the fate of individual bacteria on the cell surface and find that Hp is able to replicate and form microcolonies directly over the intercellular junctions. On polarized epithelia, Hp is able to grow directly on the apical cell surface in conditions that do not support the growth of free-swimming bacteria. In contrast, mutants in CagA delivery are defective in colonization of the apical cell surface. Hp perturbs the polarized epithelium in a highly localized manner, since wild-type Hp does not rescue the growth defect of the CagA-deficient mutants upon co-infection. CagA's ability to disrupt host cell polarity is a key factor in enabling colonization of the apical cell surface by Hp, as disruption of the atypical protein kinase C/Par1b polarity pathway leads to rescue of the mutant growth defect during apical infection, and CagA-deficient mutants are able to colonize the polarized epithelium when given access to the basolateral cell surface. Our study establishes the cell surface as a replicative niche and the importance of CagA and its effects on host cell polarity for this purpose.

PMID:
19412339
PMCID:
PMC2669173
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1000407
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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