Activity and Functional Importance of Helicobacter pylori Virulence Factors

  • Dionyssios SgourasEmail author
  • Nicole Tegtmeyer
  • Silja Wessler
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1149)


Helicobacter pylori is a very successful Gram-negative pathogen colonizing the stomach of humans worldwide. Infections with this bacterium can generate pathologies ranging from chronic gastritis and peptic ulceration to gastric cancer. The best characterized H. pylori virulence factors that cause direct cell damage include an effector protein encoded by the cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), a type IV secretion system (T4SS) encoded in the cag-pathogenicity island (cag PAI), vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), high temperature requirement A (HtrA, a serine protease) and cholesterol glycosyl-transferase (CGT). Since these H. pylori factors are either surface-exposed, secreted or translocated, they can directly interact with host cell molecules and are able to hijack cellular functions. Studies on these bacterial factors have progressed substantially in recent years. Here, we review the current status in the characterization of signaling cascades by these factors in vivo and in vitro, which comprise the disruption of cell-to-cell junctions, induction of membrane rearrangements, cytoskeletal dynamics, proliferative, pro-inflammatory, as well as, pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic responses or immune evasion. The impact of these signal transduction modules in the pathogenesis of H. pylori infections is discussed.


E-cadherin Protease CagA HtrA serine protease VacA UreA Adherens junction Tight junction Epithelial barrier Type IV secretion T4SS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dionyssios Sgouras
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole Tegtmeyer
    • 2
  • Silja Wessler
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Medical MicrobiologyHellenic Pasteur InstituteAthensGreece
  2. 2.Division of Microbiology, Department of BiologyFriedrich Alexander University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Division of Microbiology, Department of BiosciencesParis-Lodron University of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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