Differences in Helicobacter pylori CagA tyrosine phosphorylation motif patterns between western and East Asian strains, and influences on interleukin-8 secretion

Richard H. Argent, James L. Hale, Emad Munir El-Omar, John C. Atherton

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Helicobacter pylori strains from East Asia have an 'East Asian' type of CagA that is more active and predominantly comprises a single type. Strains from other countries have a 'western' type of CagA, which is less active and comprises many different types generated by intragenomic recombination. Co-culture of AGS gastric epithelial cells with isolates of western strains that displayed microevolution in CagA showed that isolates with additional copies of the C motif induced significantly more interleukin (IL)-8 secretion. Co-culture of AGS cells with western and East Asian strains, each expressing CagA with a single copy of the C or D motif, showed that East Asian strains induced significantly more IL-8 secretion. Analysis of the different CagA types from data deposited in GenBank and from the literature showed that western CagA is significantly more likely to undergo duplication of tyrosine phosphorylation motif C than East Asian CagA is of the corresponding D motif. Taken together, the data suggest that the already highly active East Asian CagA with one D motif has no requirement to increase its virulence, whereas the less active western CagA displays flexibility in its capacity to increase its number of tyrosine phosphorylation motifs to become more virulent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1067
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • gastric epithelial-cells
  • NF-Kappa-B
  • pathogenicity island
  • variable-region
  • cytotoxin production
  • biological-activity
  • virulence factors
  • increased risk
  • protein
  • diversity

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