What is it about?

The human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is the most important aetiological factor for gastric cancer. H. pylori lipopolysaccharide, a major bacterial surface molecule, plays essential roles in host-pathogen interactions. We analysed the conservation of the lipopolysaccharide genes across a large panel of H. pylori strains and demonstrated that many of the lipopolysaccharide genes are highly conserved, whereas the genes involved in lipopolysaccharide heptan incorporation are lacking in East-Asian strains. Finally, based on the correlation of lipopolysaccharide structure and gene contents in specific strains, we proposed a lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic model of how East-Asian strains, missing the heptan moiety.

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Why is it important?

Future studies are needed to address whether the lack of heptan in lipopolysaccharide of East-Asian H. pylori strains is related to the high gastric cancer rate in East Asia, accounting for almost half of the worldwide gastric cancer cases.


This study opens exciting questions on a potential role of LPS heptane in H. pylori pathogenesis

Mohammed Benghezal

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This page is a summary of: East-Asian Helicobacter pylori strains synthesize heptan-deficient lipopolysaccharide, PLoS Genetics, November 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008497.
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