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Keywords:

  • CagA;
  • cancer;
  • γ-glutamyl transpeptidase;
  • HtrA;
  • lipopolysaccharide;
  • signaling;
  • type IV secretion system;
  • vacuolating cytotoxin

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori infections and clinical outcome are dependent on sophisticated interactions between the bacteria and its host. Crucial bacterial factors associated with pathogenicity comprise a type IV secretion system encoded by the cag pathogenicity island, the effector protein CagA, the vacuolating cytotoxin (VacA), peptidoglycan, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), protease HtrA, and the adhesins BabA, SabA, and others. The high number of these factors and allelic variation of the involved genes generates a highly complex scenario and reveals the difficulties in testing the contribution of each individual factor. Much effort has been put into identifying the molecular mechanisms associated with H. pylori-associated pathogenesis using human primary tissues, Mongolian gerbils, transgenic, knockout, and other mice as well as in vitro cell model systems. Interactions between bacterial factors and host signal transduction pathways seem to be critical for mediating the induction of pathogenic downstream processes and disease development. In this review article, we discuss the most recent progress in this research field.