Helicobacter pylori CagA inhibits endocytosis of cytotoxin VacA in host cells

J. K Akada, H Aoki, Y Torigoe, T Kitagawa, H Kurazono, H Hoshida, J Nishikawa, S Terai, M Matsuzaki, T Hirayama, T Nakazawa, R Akada and K. Nakamura

Disease Models and Mechanisms, 2010, 3(9-10), 605-617. DOI: 10.1242/dmm.004879


Junko K. Akada, Hiroki Aoki, Yuji Torigoe, Takao Kitagawa, Hisao Kurazono, Hisashi Hoshida, Jun Nishikawa, Shuji Terai, Masunori Matsuzaki, Toshiya Hirayama, Teruko Nakazawa, Rinji Akada, and Kazuyuki Nakamura

Helicobacter pylori, a common pathogen that causes chronic gastritis and cancer, has evolved to establish persistent infections in the human stomach. Epidemiological evidence suggests that H. pylori with both highly active vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA) and cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), the major virulence factors, has an advantage in adapting to the host environment. However, the mechanistic relationship between VacA and CagA remains obscure. Here, we report that CagA interferes with eukaryotic endocytosis, as revealed by genome-wide screening in yeast. Moreover, CagA suppresses pinocytic endocytosis and the cytotoxicity of VacA in gastric epithelial cells without affecting clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Our data suggest that H. pylori secretes VacA to attack distant host cells while injecting CagA into the gastric epithelial cells to which the bacteria are directly attached, thereby protecting these attached host cells from the cytotoxicity of VacA and creating a local ecological niche. This mechanism might allow H. pylori to balance damage to one population of host cells with the preservation of another, allowing for persistent infection.

ASCI-ID: 1317-202