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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 17

of 'Pathophysiology of and immune response to Helicobacter pylori infection'

Purification and N-terminal analysis of urease from Helicobacter pylori.
Hu LT, Mobley HL
Infect Immun. 1990;58(4):992.
Urease of Helicobacter pylori (formerly Campylobacter pylori) is believed to represent a critical virulence determinant for this species. Ammonia generated by hydrolysis of urea may protect the acid-sensitive bacterium as it colonizes human gastric mucosa. An H. pylori strain, cultured from a gastric biopsy of a patient with complaints of abdominal pain and a history of peptic ulcer disease, was isolated on selective medium and cultured in Mueller-Hinton broth supplemented with 4% fetal calf serum. Whole cells were ruptured by French pressure cell lysis, and soluble protein was chromatographed on DEAE-Sepharose, phenyl-Sepharose, Mono-Q, and Superose 6 resins. Purified urease represented 6% of the soluble protein of crude extract, was estimated to have a native molecular size of 550 kilodaltons (kDa), and was composed of two distinct subunits of apparent molecular sizes of 66 and 29.5 kDa. On the basis of subunit size, a 1:1 subunit ratio as measured by scanning densitometry of Coomassie blue-stained sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels, and estimated native molecular size, the data are consistent with a stoichiometry of (29.5 kDa-66 kDa)6 for the structure of the native enzyme. Km for urea was estimated at 0.2 mM. By N-terminal analysis, the 29.5-kDa subunit of H. pylori urease was found to share significant amino acid sequence similarity with the smallest of three subunits of the Proteus mirabilis and Morganella morganii ureases, as well as to the amino terminus of the unique jack bean subunit. The 66-kDa subunit also shared up to 80% similarity with the largest of three subunits of P. mirabilis, M. morganii, and Klebsiella aerogenes ureases and to internal sequences (amino acids 271 to 285) of the jack bean urease subunit. Thus, the amino acid sequence is conserved among ureases with one, two, and three distinct subunits, suggesting a common ancestral urease gene. Also, urease subunits of M. morganii and jack bean were specifically recognized by antisera raised against the 66-kDa subunit of H. pylori urease, demonstrating that at least some antigenic determinants were conserved among ureases from different species.
Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201.