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. 2019 Aug;4(8):1411-1423.
doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0441-6. Epub 2019 May 20.

VacA Generates a Protective Intracellular Reservoir for Helicobacter Pylori That Is Eliminated by Activation of the Lysosomal Calcium Channel TRPML1

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VacA Generates a Protective Intracellular Reservoir for Helicobacter Pylori That Is Eliminated by Activation of the Lysosomal Calcium Channel TRPML1

Mariana I Capurro et al. Nat Microbiol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori infection is a proven carcinogen for gastric cancer. Its virulence factor vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA) promotes more severe disease and gastric colonization. VacA, by an unknown mechanism, usurps lysosomal and autophagy pathways to generate a protected reservoir for H. pylori that confers bacterial survival in vitro. Here, we show the existence of a VacA-generated intracellular niche in vivo that protects the bacteria from antibiotic treatment and leads to infection recrudescence after therapy. Furthermore, we report that VacA targets the lysosomal calcium channel TRPML1 to disrupt endolysosomal trafficking and mediate these effects. Remarkably, H. pylori that lack toxigenic VacA colonize enlarged dysfunctional lysosomes in the gastric epithelium of trpml1-null mice, where they are protected from eradication therapy. Furthermore, a small molecule agonist directed against TRPML1 reversed the toxic effects of VacA on endolysosomal trafficking, culminating in the clearance of intracellular bacteria. These results suggest that TRPML1 may represent a therapeutic target for chronic H. pylori infection.

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