July 19, 2019  |  

Genome and methylome variation in Helicobacter pylori with a cag pathogenicity island during early stages of human infection.

Helicobacter pylori is remarkable for its genetic variation. Yet little isknown about its genetic changes during early stages of human infection, as the bacteria adapt to their new environment. We analyzed genome and methylome variations in a fully virulent strain of H pylori strain during experimental infection.We performed a randomized Phase 1 and 2, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, study of 12 healthy, H pylori-negative adults in Germany from October 2008 through March 2010. The volunteers were given a prophylactic vaccine candidate (n=7) or placebo (n=5) and then challenged with H pylori strain BCM-300. Biopsy samples were collected and H pylori were isolated. Genomes of the challenge strain and 12 re-isolates, obtained 12 weeks after (or in 1 case, 62 weeks after) infection were sequenced by single-molecule, real-time technology, which, in parallel, permitted determination of genome-wide methylation patterns for all strains. Functional effects of genetic changes observed in H pylori strains during human infection were assessed by measuring release of interleukin 8 from AGS cells (to detect cag PAI function), neutral red uptake (to detect vacuolating cytotoxin activity), and adhesion assays.The observed mutation rate was in agreement with rates previously determined from patients with chronic H pylori infections, without evidence of a mutation burst. A loss; of cag PAI function was observed in 3 re-isolates. In addition, 3 re-isolates from the vaccine; group acquired mutations in the vacuolating cytotoxin gene vacA, resulting in loss of; vacuolization activity from gastric epithelial cells. We observed inter-strain variation in; methylomes due to phase variation in genes encoding methyltransferases.We analyzed adaptation of a fully virulent strain of H pylori to 12 differentvolunteers to obtain a robust estimate of the frequency of genetic and epigenetic changes inthe absence of inter-strain recombination. Our findings indicate that the large amount of; genetic variation in H pylori poses a challenge to vaccine development. ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT00736476. Copyright © 2017 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

July 7, 2019  |  

Quantum changes in Helicobacter pylori gene expression accompany host-adaptation.

Helicobacter pylori is a highly successful gastric pathogen. High genomic plasticity allows its adaptation to changing host environments. Complete genomes of H. pylori clinical isolate UM032 and its mice-adapted serial derivatives 298 and 299, generated using both PacBio RS and Illumina MiSeq sequencing technologies, were compared to identify novel elements responsible for host-adaptation. The acquisition of a jhp0562-like allele, which encodes for a galactosyltransferase, was identified in the mice-adapted strains. Our analysis implies a new ß-1,4-galactosyltransferase role for this enzyme, essential for Ley antigen expression. Intragenomic recombination between babA and babB genes was also observed. Further, we expanded on the list of candidate genes whose expression patterns have been mediated by upstream homopolymer-length alterations to facilitate host adaption. Importantly, greater than four-fold reduction of mRNA levels was demonstrated in five genes. Among the down-regulated genes, three encode for outer membrane proteins, including BabA, BabB and HopD. As expected, a substantial reduction in BabA protein abundance was detected in mice-adapted strains 298 and 299 via Western analysis. Our results suggest that the expression of Ley antigen and reduced outer membrane protein expressions may facilitate H. pylori colonisation of mouse gastric epithelium.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

July 7, 2019  |  

Fallacy of the unique genome: sequence diversity within single Helicobacter pylori strains.

Many bacterial genomes are highly variable but nonetheless are typically published as a single assembled genome. Experiments tracking bacterial genome evolution have not looked at the variation present at a given point in time. Here, we analyzed the mouse-passaged Helicobacter pylori strain SS1 and its parent PMSS1 to assess intra- and intergenomic variability. Using high sequence coverage depth and experimental validation, we detected extensive genome plasticity within these H. pylori isolates, including movement of the transposable element IS607, large and small inversions, multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms, and variation in cagA copy number. The cagA gene was found as 1 to 4 tandem copies located off the cag island in both SS1 and PMSS1; this copy number variation correlated with protein expression. To gain insight into the changes that occurred during mouse adaptation, we also compared SS1 and PMSS1 and observed 46 differences that were distinct from the within-genome variation. The most substantial was an insertion in cagY, which encodes a protein required for a type IV secretion system function. We detected modifications in genes coding for two proteins known to affect mouse colonization, the HpaA neuraminyllactose-binding protein and the FutB a-1,3 lipopolysaccharide (LPS) fucosyltransferase, as well as genes predicted to modulate diverse properties. In sum, our work suggests that data from consensus genome assemblies from single colonies may be misleading by failing to represent the variability present. Furthermore, we show that high-depth genomic sequencing data of a population can be analyzed to gain insight into the normal variation within bacterial strains.IMPORTANCE Although it is well known that many bacterial genomes are highly variable, it is nonetheless traditional to refer to, analyze, and publish “the genome” of a bacterial strain. Variability is usually reduced (“only sequence from a single colony”), ignored (“just publish the consensus”), or placed in the “too-hard” basket (“analysis of raw read data is more robust”). Now that whole-genome sequences are regularly used to assess virulence and track outbreaks, a better understanding of the baseline genomic variation present within single strains is needed. Here, we describe the variability seen in typical working stocks and colonies of pathogen Helicobacter pylori model strains SS1 and PMSS1 as revealed by use of high-coverage mate pair next-generation sequencing (NGS) and confirmed by traditional laboratory techniques. This work demonstrates that reliance on a consensus assembly as “the genome” of a bacterial strain may be misleading. Copyright © 2017 Draper et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Methylomic and phenotypic analysis of the ModH5 phasevarion of Helicobacter pylori.

The Helicobacter pylori phase variable gene modH, typified by gene HP1522 in strain 26695, encodes a N6-adenosine type III DNA methyltransferase. Our previous studies identified multiple strain-specific modH variants (modH1 – modH19) and showed that phase variation of modH5 in H. pylori P12 influenced expression of motility-associated genes and outer membrane protein gene hopG. However, the ModH5 DNA recognition motif and the mechanism by which ModH5 controls gene expression were unknown. Here, using comparative single molecule real-time sequencing, we identify the DNA site methylated by ModH5 as 5′-Gm6ACC-3′. This motif is vastly underrepresented in H. pylori genomes, but overrepresented in a number of virulence genes, including motility-associated genes, and outer membrane protein genes. Motility and the number of flagella of H. pylori P12 wild-type were significantly higher than that of isogenic modH5 OFF or ?modH5 mutants, indicating that phase variable switching of modH5 expression plays a role in regulating H. pylori motility phenotypes. Using the flagellin A (flaA) gene as a model, we show that ModH5 modulates flaA promoter activity in a GACC methylation-dependent manner. These findings provide novel insights into the role of ModH5 in gene regulation and how it mediates epigenetic regulation of H. pylori motility.

July 7, 2019  |  

Recent “omics” advances in Helicobacter pylori.

The development of high-throughput whole genome sequencing (WGS) technologies is changing the face of microbiology, facilitating the comparison of large numbers of genomes from different lineages of a same organism. Our aim was to review the main advances on Helicobacter pylori “omics” and to understand how this is improving our knowledge of the biology, diversity and pathogenesis of H. pylori. Since the first H. pylori isolate was sequenced in 1997, 510 genomes have been deposited in the NCBI archive, providing a basis for improved understanding of the epidemiology and evolution of this important pathogen. This review focuses on works published between April 2015 and March 2016. Helicobacter “omics” is already making an impact and is a growing research field. Ultimately these advances will be translated into a routine clinical laboratory setting in order to improve public health.© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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