Role of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase in the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection



Emiko Rimbara, Department of Bacteriology II, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama-Shi, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan. Tel: +81 42 561 0771; fax: +81 42 561 7173; email:


γ-Glutamyltranspeptidase and asparaginase have been shown to play important roles in Helicobacter pylori colonization and cell death induced by H. pylori infection. In this study, the association of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase and asparaginase was elucidated by comparing activities of both deamidases in H. pylori strains from patients with chronic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and gastric cancer. γ-Glutamyltranspeptidase activities in H. pylori strains from patients with gastric cancer were significantly higher than in those from patients with chronic gastritis or gastric ulcers. There was a wide range of asparaginase activities in H. pylori strains from patients with gastric cancer and these were not significantly than those from patients with other diseases. To identify the contributions of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase and asparaginase to gastric cell inflammation, human gastric epithelial cells (AGS line) were infected with H. pylori wild-type and knockout strains and inflammatory responses evaluated by induction of interleukin-8 (IL-8). IL-8 response was significantly decreased by knockout of the γ-glutamyltranspeptidase-encoding gene but not by knockout of the asparaginase-encoding gene. Additionally, IL-8 induction by infection with the H. pylori wild-type strain was significantly decreased by adding glutamine during infection. These findings indicate that IL-8 induction caused by γ-glutamyltranspeptidase activity in H. pylori is mainly attributable to depletion of glutamine. These data suggest that γ-glutamyltranspeptidase plays a significant role in the chronic inflammation caused by H. pylori infection.