The marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. WH7805 requires urease (urea amidohydrolase, EC to utilize urea as a nitrogen source: molecular-genetic and biochemical analysis of the enzyme. (1/970)

Cyanobacteria assigned to the genus Synechococcus are an important component of oligotrophic marine ecosystems, where their growth may be constrained by low availability of fixed nitrogen. Urea appears to be a major nitrogen resource in the sea, but little molecular information exists about its utilization by marine organisms, including Synechococcus. Oligonucleotide primers were used to amplify a conserved fragment of the urease (urea amidohydrolase, EC coding region from cyanobacteria. A 5.7 kbp region of the genome of the unicellular marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain WH7805 was then cloned, and genes encoding three urease structural subunits and four urease accessory proteins were sequenced and identified by homology. The WH7805 urease had a predicted subunit composition typical of bacterial ureases, but the organization of the WH7805 urease genes was unique. Biochemical characteristics of the WH7805 urease enzyme were consistent with the predictions of the sequence data. Physiological data and sequence analysis both suggested that the urease operon may be nitrogen-regulated by the ntcA system in WH7805. Inactivation of the large subunit of urease, ureC, prevented WH7805 and Synechococcus WH8102 from growing on urea, demonstrating that the urease genes cloned are essential to the ability of these cyanobacteria to utilize urea as a nitrogen source.  (+info)

Role of apoptosis induced by Helicobacter pylori infection in the development of duodenal ulcer. (2/970)

BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori affects gastric epithelium integrity by acceleration of apoptosis. However, it remains unclear what product of the bacteria causes apoptosis, or whether or not the apoptosis is involved in the development of ulcers. AIMS: To elucidate the factor from H pylori that causes acceleration of apoptosis and the role of apoptosis in the development of duodenal ulcer in H pylori infection. PATIENTS: Five H pylori negative healthy volunteers, 47 H pylori positive patients with duodenal ulcer, and 35 H pylori positive patients with gastric ulcer. METHODS: An endoscopic examination was carried out to diagnose ulcers and determine their clinical stage. To analyse apoptosis, a cell cycle analysis was performed using biopsy specimens. RESULTS: There was a significant correlation between the urease activity of the H pylori strain and the level of apoptosis induced by this bacterial strain. Moreover, in duodenal ulcer patients infected with H pylori, the patients with an active ulcer exhibited a significantly higher level of apoptosis than those with ulcers at both the healing and scarring stages. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that acceleration of apoptosis in the antral mucosa caused by the urease of H pylori plays a crucial role in the development of ulcers in the duodenum.  (+info)

A novel urease-negative Helicobacter species associated with colitis and typhlitis in IL-10-deficient mice. (3/970)

A spiral-shaped bacterium with bipolar, single-sheathed flagella was isolated from the intestines of IL-10 (interleukin-10)-deficient (IL-10(-/-)) mice with inflammatory bowel disease. The organism was microaerobic, grew at 37 and 42 degrees C, and was oxidase and catalase positive but urease negative. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and biochemical and phenotypic criteria, the organism is classified as a novel helicobacter. Cesarean section-rederived IL-10(-/-) mice without helicobacter infection did not have histological evidence of intestinal inflammation. However, helicobacter-free IL-10(-/-), SCID/NCr, and A/JNCr mice experimentally inoculated with the novel urease-negative Helicobacter sp. developed variable degrees of inflammation in the lower intestine, and in immunocompetent mice, the experimental infection was accompanied by a corresponding elevated immunoglobulin G antibody response to the novel Helicobacter sp. antigen. These data support other recent studies which demonstrate that multiple Helicobacter spp. in both naturally and experimentally infected mice can induce inflammatory bowel disease. The mouse model of helicobacter-associated intestinal inflammation should prove valuable in understanding how specific microbial antigens influence a complex disease process.  (+info)

Is routine histological evaluation an accurate test for Helicobacter pylori infection? (4/970)

AIM: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of routine histology for Helicobacter pylori infection, with histology by an expert pathologist, and to compare histology with the rapid urease test (RUT), 13C-urea breath test, IgG serology and culture of antrum and corpus specimens, in a consecutive series of untreated patients presenting for upper oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One-hundred and fifteen consecutive patients underwent multiple tests for H. pylori infection: rapid urease test, 13C-urea breath test, IgG serology and histology and culture on antrum and corpus biopsy specimens. Histology was first evaluated by the pathologists in a routine examination, and then blindly reviewed by an expert pathologist with a special interest in gastrointestinal pathology. The patients were considered to be H. pylori-positive if two or more tests were positive. RESULTS: Eighty-one patients (70.4%) were found to be H. pylori positive. 13C-urea breath test and IgG serology showed the best sensitivity and specificity (100%). Both the antral and body cultures, and the rapid urease test had the highest specificity (100%). Histological diagnosis after re-evaluation by an expert pathologist showed a high sensitivity (98. 8%) and specificity (100%), and was better than routine histology (sensitivity 92.6%; specificity 90.3%). The accuracy of the rapid urease test was greater than that of routine histology, and the combination of these two tests improved the sensitivity of H. pylori detection to up to 100%. CONCLUSION: All diagnostic tests usually utilised in clinical practice have a sensitivity higher than 90%. In patients who were not pre-treated with antisecretory agents or antibiotics, the sensitivity of histological diagnosis, however, seems to be influenced by the accuracy of the histological examination. The sensitivity of routine histology, but not of revised histological diagnosis, is improved by an additional rapid urease test.  (+info)

Systemic and local immune responses against Helicobacter pylori urease in patients with chronic gastritis: distinct IgA and IgG productive sites. (5/970)

BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori urease is a major target for immune responses among various bacterial components in H pylori infected patients. AIMS: To analyse the relation between systemic and local humoral immune responses to H pylori urease and grades of chronic gastritis. PATIENTS: Seventy five patients with chronic gastritis associated with H pylori infection were classified into three groups (grade I, superficial gastritis; II, atrophic gastritis, quiescent; or III, atrophic gastritis, active). METHODS: Anti-H pylori urease specific antibodies in the serum, gastric juice, and biopsy specimens were determined by ELISA or western blotting analysis. The sites for H pylori urease and its specific antibody producing B lymphocytes were confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis. RESULTS: In the sera of patients with grade I gastritis, weak IgG but relatively strong IgG responses to H pylori urease were observed; dominant strong IgG responses were detected in grade II gastritis. In grade III gastritis, significant IgG and IgA responses were obtained. A similar pattern of IgA and IgG responses was detected in gastric juice and tissue. H pylori urease specific, antibody producing B cells were not found in the gastric mucosa of patients with grade I gastritis despite the presence of such B cells in the duodenal bulb. Specific B cells were observed in the gastric mucosa of patients with grade II and III gastritis with atrophy. CONCLUSIONS: Purified H pylori urease, together with localisation of its specific antibody producing B cells, are useful for serological testing and histopathological analysis for determining the stage of chronic gastritis and studying the pathogenesis of H pylori infection.  (+info)

Isolation of Helicobacter pylori genes that modulate urease activity. (6/970)

Helicobacter pylori urease, a nickel-requiring metalloenzyme, hydrolyzes urea to NH3 and CO2. We sought to identify H. pylori genes that modulate urease activity by constructing pHP8080, a plasmid which encodes both H. pylori urease and the NixA nickel transporter. Escherichia coli SE5000 and DH5alpha transformed with pHP8080 resulted in a high-level urease producer and a low-level urease producer, respectively. An H. pylori DNA library was cotransformed into SE5000 (pHP8080) and DH5alpha (pHP8080) and was screened for cotransformants expressing either lowered or heightened urease activity, respectively. Among the clones carrying urease-enhancing factors, 21 of 23 contained hp0548, a gene that potentially encodes a DNA helicase found within the cag pathogenicity island, and hp0511, a gene that potentially encodes a lipoprotein. Each of these genes, when subcloned, conferred a urease-enhancing activity in E. coli (pHP8080) compared with the vector control. Among clones carrying urease-decreasing factors, 11 of 13 clones contained the flbA (also known as flhA) flagellar biosynthesis/regulatory gene (hp1041), an lcrD homolog. The LcrD protein family is involved in type III secretion and flagellar secretion in pathogenic bacteria. Almost no urease activity was detected in E. coli (pHP8080) containing the subcloned flbA gene. Furthermore, there was significantly reduced synthesis of the urease structural subunits in E. coli (pHP8080) containing the flbA gene, as determined by Western blot analysis with UreA and UreB antiserum. Thus, flagellar biosynthesis and urease activity may be linked in H. pylori. These results suggest that H. pylori genes may modulate urease activity.  (+info)

Identification of virulence genes of Helicobacter pylori by random insertion mutagenesis. (7/970)

The complete genome of the gram-negative bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori, an important etiological agent of gastroduodenal disease in humans, has recently been published. This sequence revealed that the putative products of roughly one-third of the open reading frames (ORFs) have no significant homology to any known proteins. To be able to analyze the functions of all ORFs, we constructed an integration plasmid for H. pylori and used it to generate a random mutant library in this organism. This integration plasmid, designated pBCalpha3, integrated randomly into the chromosome of H. pylori. To test the capacity of this library to identify virulence genes, subsets of this library were screened for urease-negative mutants and for nonmotile mutants. Three urease-negative mutants in a subset of 1,251 mutants (0.25%) and 5 nonmotile mutants in a subset of 180 mutants (2.7%) were identified. Analysis of the disrupted ORFs in the urease-negative mutants revealed that two had disruptions of genes of the urease locus, ureB and ureI, and the third had a disruption of a unrelated gene; a homologue of deaD, which encodes an RNA helicase. Analysis of the disrupted ORFs in the nonmotile mutants revealed one ORF encoding a homologue of the paralyzed flagellar protein, previously shown to be involved in motility in Campylobacter jejuni. The other four ORFs have not been implicated in motility before. Based on these data, we concluded that we have generated a random insertion library in H. pylori that allows for the functional identification of genes in H. pylori.  (+info)

Urease and hexadecylamine-urease films at the air-water interface: an x-ray reflection and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction study. (8/970)

We report the results of surface x-ray scattering measurements performed on urease and hexadecylamine-urease films at the air-aqueous solution interface. It is demonstrated that although hexadecylamine does not form a stable monolayer on the pure aqueous surface, it does self-assemble into a stable, well-organized structure when spread on top of a urease film at the air-water interface. It is also likely that protein and hexadecylamine domains coexist at the interface.  (+info)