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BabA dependent binding of Helicobacter pylori to human gastric mucins cause aggregation that inhibits proliferation and is regulated via ArsS

Journal article
Authors Emma C Skoog
Médea Padra
A. Aberg
P. Gideonsson
I. Obi
Macarena P Quintana-Hayashi
A. Arnqvist
Sara K. Lindén
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 7
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Language en
Keywords iv secretion system, sialyl-lewis-x, gene-expression, antigen-binding, infection, adhesin, epithelium, saba, glycosylation, inflammation, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Immunology in the medical area


Mucins in the gastric mucus layer carry a range of glycan structures, which vary between individuals, can have antimicrobial effect or act as ligands for Helicobacter pylori. Mucins from various individuals and disease states modulate H. pylori proliferation and adhesin gene expression differently. Here we investigate the relationship between adhesin mediated binding, aggregation, proliferation and adhesin gene expression using human gastric mucins and synthetic adhesin ligand conjugates. By combining measurements of optical density, bacterial metabolic activity and live/dead stains, we could distinguish bacterial aggregation from viability changes, enabling elucidation of mechanisms behind the anti-prolific effects that mucins can have. Binding of H. pylori to Leb-glycoconjugates inhibited the proliferation of the bacteria in a BabA dependent manner, similarly to the effect of mucins carrying Leb. Furthermore, deletion of arsS lead to a decrease in binding to Leb-glycoconjugates and Leb-decorated mucins, accompanied by decreased aggregation and absence of anti-prolific effect of mucins and Leb-glycoconjugates. Inhibition of proliferation caused by adhesin dependent binding to mucins, and the subsequent aggregation suggests a new role of mucins in the host defense against H. pylori. This aggregating trait of mucins may be useful to incorporate into the design of adhesin inhibitors and other disease intervention molecules.

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