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Fumarate reductase (FRD) is the key enzyme in fumarate respiration induced by anaerobic growth of bacteria. In Helicobacter pylori, this enzyme appears to be constitutively expressed under microaerobic conditions and is not essential for its survival in vitro. In this study, the role of FRD in the colonization of H. pylori was investigated using a mouse model. The frdA gene coding for subunit A of FRD, and two control genes, copA and copP associated with the export of copper out of H. pylori, were inactivated by insertion of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase cassette into these individual genes. The isogenic mutants of H. pylori strain AH244 were obtained by natural transformation. Seventy-five ICR mice (15 mice/group) were orogastrically dosed with either the wild type H. pylori strain AH244, its isogenic mutants, or Brucella broth (negative control). Five mice from each group were killed at 2, 4 and 8 weeks post-inoculation (WPI), respectively. H. pylori colonization was not detected in mouse gastric mucosa infected with the frdA mutant at any time point in the study by both quantitative culture and PCR. In contrast, the mice inoculated with either wild type AH244, copA or copPH. pylori mutants became readily infected. These data indicate that FRD plays a crucial role in H. pylori survival in the gastric mucosa of mice. Given that FRD, present in all H. pylori strains, is immunogenic in H. pylori -infected patients and H. pylori growth in vitro can be inhibited by three anthelmintics (morantel, oxantel and thiabendazole), this enzyme could potentially be used both as a novel drug target as well as in the development of vaccines for H. pylori prevention and eradication. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.


Z Ge, Y Feng, C A Dangler, S Xu, N S Taylor, J G Fox. Fumarate reductase is essential for Helicobacter pylori colonization of the mouse stomach. Microbial pathogenesis. 2000 Nov;29(5):279-87

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PMID: 11031122

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