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Infect Immun. 2011 Aug;79(8):3106-16. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01275-10. Epub 2011 May 16.

Helicobacter pylori AlpA and AlpB bind host laminin and influence gastric inflammation in gerbils.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA.


Helicobacter pylori persistently colonizes humans, causing gastritis, ulcers, and gastric cancer. Adherence to the gastric epithelium has been shown to enhance inflammation, yet only a few H. pylori adhesins have been paired with targets in host tissue. The alpAB locus has been reported to encode adhesins involved in adherence to human gastric tissue. We report that abrogation of H. pylori AlpA and AlpB reduces binding of H. pylori to laminin while expression of plasmid-borne alpA or alpB confers laminin-binding ability to Escherichia coli. An H. pylori strain lacking only AlpB is also deficient in laminin binding. Thus, we conclude that both AlpA and AlpB contribute to H. pylori laminin binding. Contrary to expectations, the H. pylori SS1 mutant deficient in AlpA and AlpB causes more severe inflammation than the isogenic wild-type strain in gerbils. Identification of laminin as the target of AlpA and AlpB will facilitate future investigations of host-pathogen interactions occurring during H. pylori infection.

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