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Identification by RNA Profiling and Mutational Analysis of the Novel Copper Resistance Determinants CrdA (HP1326), CrdB (HP1327), and CzcB (HP1328) in Helicobacter pylori

  • Barbara Waidner
  • Klaus Melchers
  • Igor Ivanov
  • Hannes Loferer
  • Klaus W. Bensch
  • Manfred Kist
  • Stefan Bereswill
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2002
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Mechanisms involved in maintaining cytoplasmic metal ion homeostasis play a central role in the adaptation of Helicobacter pylori to the changing gastric environment. An investigation of the global regulatory responses to copper ions by using RNA profiling with a threshold factor of 4.0 revealed that copper induces transcription of 19 H. pylori genes and that only the ferritin gene pfr is repressed. The 57-fold copper induction identified the HP1326 gene encoding an H. pylori-specific protein as a candidate for a novel copper resistance determinant. The HP1326 gene is expressed as a monocistronic unit, and two small HP1326 mRNAs are copper induced. The HP1326 protein is secreted and is required for copper resistance maintained by cytoplasmic copper homeostasis, as H. pylori HP1326 mutants were copper sensitive and displayed increased copper induction of HP1326 transcription as well as elevated copper repression of ferritin synthesis. The clear copper-sensitive phenotype displayed by H. pylori HP1327 and HP1328 mutants provides strong evidence that the HP1326 protein, together with the signal peptide site of the H. pylori-specific protein HP1327, whose gene is located downstream from that encoding HP1326, and the CzcB and CzcA metal efflux system component homologs HP1328 and HP1329, constitutes a novel type of copper efflux pump, as discussed below. The HP1329 gene could not be inactivated, but the 14-fold transcriptional copper induction determined by RNA profiling points towards a function of the encoded CzcA homolog in copper resistance. In summary, results from RNA profiling identified the novel H. pylori-specific copper resistance determinants CrdA (HP1326) and CrdB (HP1327), which are required for adaptation to copper-rich environmental conditions.

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