Role of dupA in virulence of Helicobacter pylori

World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Dec 14;22(46):10118-10123. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i46.10118.


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a gastric human pathogen associated with acute and chronic gastritis, 70% of all gastric ulcers, 85% of all duodenal ulcers, and both forms of stomach cancer, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. Recently, attention has focused on possible relationship between presence of certain virulence factor and H. pylori-associated diseases. Some contradictory data between this bacterium and related disorders has been observed since not all the colonized individuals develop to severe disease. The reported diseases plausibility related to H. pylori specific virulence factors became an interesting story about this organism. Although a number of putative virulence factors have been identified including cytotoxin-associated gene a (cagA) and vacA, there are conflicting data about their actual participation as specific risk factor for H. pylori-related diseases. Duodenal ulcer promoting gene a (dupA) is a virulence factor of H. pylori that is highly associated with duodenal ulcer development and reduced risk of gastric cancer. The prevalence of dupA in H. pylori strains isolated from western countries is relatively higher than in H. pylori strains from Asian countries. Current confusing epidemiological reports will continue unless future sophisticated and molecular studies provide data on functional and complete dupA cluster in H. pylori infected individuals. This paper elucidates available knowledge concerning role of dupA in virulence of H. pylori after a decade of its discovery.

Keywords: Bacterial virulence; Clinical outcome; Helicobacter pylori; Infection; dupA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Duodenal Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Duodenal Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Gastritis / epidemiology
  • Gastritis / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology
  • Humans
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Virulence Factors / physiology*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DupA protein, Helicobacter pylori
  • VacA protein, Helicobacter pylori
  • Virulence Factors
  • cagA protein, Helicobacter pylori