Gut 55:775-781 doi:10.1136/gut.2005.083014
  • Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori outer membrane proteins and gastroduodenal disease

  1. Y Yamaoka1,
  2. O Ojo1,*,
  3. S Fujimoto1,
  4. S Odenbreit2,
  5. R Haas2,
  6. O Gutierrez3,
  7. H M T El-Zimaity1,
  8. R Reddy1,
  9. A Arnqvist4,
  10. D Y Graham1
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Michael E DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
  2. 2Max von Pettenkofer-Institute for Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia
  4. 4Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Y Yamaoka
    Michael E DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (111D), 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA; yyamaoka{at}
  • Accepted 23 November 2005
  • Revised 7 November 2005
  • Published Online First 1 December 2005


Background and aims: A number of Helicobacter pylori outer membrane proteins (OMPs) undergo phase variations. This study examined the relation between OMP phase variations and clinical outcome.

Methods: Expression of H pylori BabA, BabB, SabA, and OipA proteins was determined by immunoblot. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the relation among OMP expression, clinical outcome, and mucosal histology.

Results:H pylori were cultured from 200 patients (80 with gastritis, 80 with duodenal ulcer (DU), and 40 with gastric cancer). The most reliable results were obtained using cultures from single colonies of low passage number. Stability of expression with passage varied with OipA > BabA > BabB > SabA. OipA positive status was significantly associated with the presence of DU and gastric cancer, high H pylori density, and severe neutrophil infiltration. SabA positive status was associated with gastric cancer, intestinal metaplasia, and corpus atrophy, and negatively associated with DU and neutrophil infiltration. The Sydney system underestimated the prevalence of intestinal metaplasia/atrophy compared with systems using proximal and distal corpus biopsies. SabA expression dramatically decreased following exposure of H pylori to pH 5.0 for two hours.

Conclusions: SabA expression frequently switched on or off, suggesting that SabA expression can rapidly respond to changing conditions in the stomach or in different regions of the stomach. SabA positive status was inversely related to the ability of the stomach to secrete acid, suggesting that its expression may be regulated by changes in acid secretion and/or in antigens expressed by the atrophic mucosa.


  • Published online first 1 December 2005

  • * Current address: Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

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