Phenotypic variation in molecular mimicry betweenhelicobacter pylorilipopolysaccharides and human gastric epithelial cell surface glycoforms
Moran, Anthony P.
Knirel, Yuriy A.
Senchenkova, Sof'ya N.
Hynes, Sean O.
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Moran, Anthony P. Knirel, Yuriy A.; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N.; Widmalm, Göran; Hynes, Sean O.; Jansson, Per-Erik (2001). Phenotypic variation in molecular mimicry betweenhelicobacter pylorilipopolysaccharides and human gastric epithelial cell surface glycoforms. Journal of Biological Chemistry 277 (8), 5785-5795
Helicobacter pylori is an important gastroduodenal pathogen of humans whose survival in the gastric environment below pH 4 is dependent on bacterial production of urease, whereas above pH 4 urease-independent mechanisms are involved in survival, but that remain to be elucidated fully. Previous structural investigations on the lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) of H. pylori have shown that the majority of these surface glycolipids express partially fucosylated, glucosylated, or galactosylated N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) O-polysaccharide chains containing Lewis(x) (Le(x)) and/or Lewis(y) (Le(y)), although some strains also express type 1 determinants, Lewis(a), Lewis(b), and H-1 antigen. In this study, we investigated acid-induced changes in the structure and composition of LPS and cellular lipids of the genome-sequenced strain, H. pylori 26695. When grown in liquid medium at pH 7, the O-chain consisted of a type 2 LacNAc polysaccharide, which was glycosylated with alpha-L-fucose at O-3 of the majority of N-acetylglucosamine residues forming Le(x) units, including chain termination by a Le(x) unit. However, growth in liquid medium at pH 5 resulted in production of a more complex O-chain whose backbone of type 2 LacNAc units was partially glycosylated with alpha-L-fucose, thus forming Le(x), whereas the majority of the nonfucosylated N-acetylglucosamine residues were substituted at O-6 by alpha-D-galactose residues, and the chain was terminated by a Le(y) unit. In contrast, detailed chemical analysis of the core and lipid A components of LPS and analysis of cellular lipids did not show significant differences between H. pylori 26695 grown at pH 5 and 7. Although putative molecular mechanisms affecting Le(x) and Le(y) expression have been investigated previously, this is the first report identifying an environmental trigger inducing phase variation of Le(x) and Le(y) in H. pylori that can aid adaptation of the bacterium to its ecological niche.