Helicobacter pylori Expresses an Autolytic Enzyme: Gene Identification, Cloning, and Theoretical Protein Structure

E. Marsich, P. Zuccato, S. Rizzi, A. Vetere, E. Tonin, S. Paoletti
2002 Journal of Bacteriology  
Helicobacter pylori is an important pathogen of the gastric system. The clinical outcome of infection is thought to be correlated with some genetic features of the bacterium. However, due to the extreme genetic variability of this organism, it is hard to draw definitive conclusions concerning its virulence factors. Here we describe a novel H. pylori gene which expresses an autolytic enzyme that is also capable of degrading the cell walls of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. We
more » ... nated this gene lys. We found this gene and observed its expression in a number of unrelated clinical strains, a fact that suggests that it is well conserved in the species. A comparison of the nucleotide sequences of lys and the hypothetical gene HP0339 from H. pylori strain ATCC 26695 revealed almost total identity, except for the presence of an insertion consisting of 24 nucleotides in the lys sequence. The coding sequences of lys and HP0339 show a high degree of homology with the coding sequence of bacteriophage T4 lysozyme. Because of this similarity, it was possible to model the three-dimensional structures of both the lys and HP0339 products.
doi:10.1128/jb.184.22.6270-6279.2002 pmid:12399497 pmcid:PMC151945 fatcat:kilxkmtlp5f4lhueco4t7o2bsm