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The Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 147  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 535 - 543

Upregulation of a non-heme iron-containing ferritin with dual ferroxidase and DNA-binding activities in Helicobacter pylori under acid stress

C. H Huang, I. L Lee, I. J Yeh, J. H Liao, C. L Ni, S. H Wu and S. H. Chiou    


Helicobacter pylori is a spiral Gram-negative microaerophilic bacterium. It is unique and distinctive among various bacterial pathogens for its ability to persist in the extreme acidic environment of human stomachs. To address and identify changes in the proteome of H. pylori in response to low pH, we have used a proteomic approach to study the protein expression of H. pylori under neutral (pH 7) and acidic (pH 5) conditions. Global protein-expression profiles of H. pylori under acid stress were analysed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) followed by liquid chromatography (LC)-nanoESI-mass spectrometry (MS)/MS and bioinformatics database analysis. Among the proteins differentially expressed under acidic condition, a non-heme iron-containing ferritin of H. pylori (HP-ferritin) was found to be consistently upregulated at pH 5 as compared to pH 7. It was also found that HP-ferritin can switch from an iron-storage protein with ferroxidase activity to a DNA-binding/protection function under in vitro conditions upon exposure to acidic environment. Prokaryotic ferritins, such as non-heme iron-binding HP-ferritin with dual functionality reported herein, may play a significant urease-independent role in the acid adaptation of H. pylori under physiological conditions in vivo.

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