Distribution of Open Reading Frames of Plasticity Region of Strain J99 in Helicobacter pylori Strains Isolated from Gastric Carcinoma and Gastritis Patients in Costa Rica
Sierra Ramos, Rafaela
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The plasticity region of Helicobacter pylori strain J99 is a large chromosomal segment containing 33 strain-specific open reading frames (ORFs) with characteristics of a pathogenicity island. To study the diversity of the plasticity region, 22 probes corresponding to 20 ORFs inside the plasticity region and two ORFs on its boundaries were hybridized to genomic DNA isolated from clinical strains of H. pylori from patients with gastritis or gastric adenocarcinoma. Highly variable hybridization patterns were observed. The majority of the clinical strains presented a hybridization profile similar to that of J99; thus, these ORFs are not J99 strain specific. No association was found between a particular hybridization pattern and the clinical origin of the strain. Nevertheless, two single ORFs (JHP940 and JHP947) were more likely to be found in gastric cancer strains. They may be new pathogenicity markers. An in vitro expression study of these ORFs was also performed for the J99 strain, under different conditions. Thirteen ORFs were consistently expressed, six were consistently shut off, and three were expressed differentially. Most of the constitutionally expressed genes were located on the 3' part of the plasticity region. Our results show that the plasticity region, rather than being considered a pathogenicity island per se, should be considered a genomic island, which represents a large fragment of foreign DNA integrated into the genome and not necessarily implicated in the pathogenic capacity of the strain.
Artículo científico -- Universidad de Costa Rica, Instituto de Investigaciones en Salud. 2000