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Journal Articles BMC Microbiology Year : 2009

Allelic diversity and phylogeny of homB, a novel co-virulence marker of Helicobacter pylori


The homB gene is a Helicobacter pylori disease-marker candidate, strongly associated with peptic ulcer disease, while homA, its paralogue gene with 90% sequence identity, is correlated with non-ulcer dyspepsia. The HomB encoded outer membrane protein was shown to contribute to the proinflammatory properties of H. pylori and also to be involved in bacterial adherence.
This study investigated the distribution of homB and homA genes in 455 H. pylori strains from East Asian and Western countries, and carried out sequence comparison and phylogenetic analyses.
Both homB and homA genes were heterogeneously distributed worldwide, with a marked difference between East Asian and Western strains.
Analysis of homB and homA sequences revealed diversity regarding the number of copies and their genomic localization, with East Asian and Western strains presenting different genotypes. Moreover, homB and homA sequence analysis suggests regulation by phase variation. It also indicates possible recombination events, leading to gene duplication or homB/homA conversion which may as well be implicated in the regulation of these genes. Phylogenetic reconstruction of homB and homA revealed clustering according to the geographic origin of strains. Allelic diversity in the middle region of the genes was observed for both homB and homA, although there was no correlation between any allele and disease. For each gene, a dominant worldwide allele was detected, suggesting that homB/homA allelic variants were independent of the geographical origin of the strain. Moreover, all alleles were demonstrated to be expressed in vivo.
Overall, these results suggest that homB and homA genes are good candidates to be part of the pool of H. pylori OMPs implicated in host-bacteria interface and also contributing to the generation of antigenic variability, and thus involved in H. pylori persistence.
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Dates and versions

inserm-00663556 , version 1 (27-01-2012)



Mónica Oleastro, Rita Cordeiro, Armelle Ménard, Yoshio Yamaoka, Dulciene Queiroz, et al.. Allelic diversity and phylogeny of homB, a novel co-virulence marker of Helicobacter pylori. BMC Microbiology, 2009, 9 (1), pp.248. ⟨10.1186/1471-2180-9-248⟩. ⟨inserm-00663556⟩


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