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Gut Microbes. 2011 May-Jun;2(3):167-72. Epub 2011 May 1.

Purpose of recently detected inhibitory domain of the Helicobacter pylori protein CagA.

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2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.


Helicobacter pylori infection is the most common bacterial infection worldwide and is strongly associated with gastric oncogenesis. Recently, we discovered that the H. pylori protein CagA, a risk factor for carcinogenesis, consists of two distinct membrane-targeting domains. The C-terminal membrane-binding domain induces host cell responses associated with a high oncogenic potential. The N-terminal membrane-targeting domain, however, localizes to a different membrane substructure at the site of newly formed cell-cell contacts thereby diminishing the effects of C-terminal signaling motifs on host cell physiology. This inhibitory function may allow H. pylori to establish a colonization niche in the host by maintaining the host epithelial architecture and thus decreasing the oncogenic potential as a side effect. From a bacterial standpoint, however, its main purpose maybe is to translocate the CagA protein via the type IV secretion apparatus into host epithelial cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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