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Identified virulence factors of Helicobacter: Motility


Flagella  

Related genes: flaA; flaB; flgE_1;
Keywords: Motility;
Characteristics:
H. pylori typically produce 4-6 unipolar flagella, which are encased in a membranous sheath and capped by terminal bulbs.
Structure features:
Comprised of three main components (filament, hook and basal body). The flagellar filament is composed primarily of repeating subunits of two polypeptides: FlaA (the major component) and FlaB (a minor component). The flagellar hook is comprised primarily of FlgE. The basal body is a multiprotein structure that serves as the proton motive force-driven motor that propels rotation.
Functions:
Confers motility, allows the bacteria to penetrate and colonize the gastric mucus layer. The lumenal pH of the fasting human stomach is <2, but with the gastric mucus there is a pH gradient that ranges from pH 2 at the luminal surface to nearly neutral pH at the epithelial cell surface, so entry into the gastric mucus layer is important for H. pylori to escape extremely low pH.
References:
Josenhans C, et al., 1995. Comparative ultrastructural and functional studies of Helicobacter pylori and Helicobacter mustelae flagellin mutants: both flagellin subunits, FlaA and FlaB, are necessary for full motility in Helicobacter species. J. Bacteriol. 177(11):3010-3020.
O'Toole PW, et al., 2000. Helicobacter pylori motility. Microbes Infect. 2(10):1207-1214.
Ottemann KM, Lowenthal AC, 2002. Helicobacter pylori uses motility for initial colonization and to attain robust infection. Infect. Immun. 70(4):1984-1990.
McGee DJ, et al., 2002. The Helicobacter pylori flbA flagellar biosynthesis and regulatory gene is required for motility and virulence and modulates urease of H. pylori and Proteus mirabilis. J. Med. Microbiol. 51(11):958-970.
Schirm M, et al., 2003. Structural, genetic and functional characterization of the flagellin glycosylation process in Helicobacter pylori. Mol. Microbiol. 48(6):1579-1592.
Lee SK, et al., 2003. Helicobacter pylori flagellins have very low intrinsic activity to stimulate human gastric epithelial cells via TLR5. Microbes Infect. 5(15):1345-1356.








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