Bugaytsova JA, Björnham O, Chernov YA, Gideonsson P, Henriksson S, Mendez M, Sjöström R, Mahdavi J, Shevtsova A, Ilver D, Moonens K, Quintana-Hayashi MP, Moskalenko R, Aisenbrey C, Bylund G, Schmidt A, Åberg A, Brännström K, Königer V, Vikström S, Rakhimova L, Hofer A, Ögren J, Liu H, Goldman MD, Whitmire JM, Ådén J, Younson J, Kelly CG, Gilman RH, Chowdhury A, Mukhopadhyay AK, Nair GB, Papadakos KS, Martinez-Gonzalez B, Sgouras DN, Engstrand L, Unemo M, Danielsson D, Suerbaum S, Oscarson S, Morozova-Roche LA, Olofsson A, Gröbner G, Holgersson J, Esberg A, Strömberg N, Landström M, Eldridge AM, Chromy BA, Hansen LM, Solnick JV, Lindén SK, Haas R, Dubois A, Merrell DS, Schedin S, Remaut H, Arnqvist A, Berg DE, Borén T
Cell Host Microbe 21 (3) 376-389 [2017-03-08; online 2017-03-11]
The BabA adhesin mediates high-affinity binding of Helicobacter pylori to the ABO blood group antigen-glycosylated gastric mucosa. Here we show that BabA is acid responsive-binding is reduced at low pH and restored by acid neutralization. Acid responsiveness differs among strains; often correlates with different intragastric regions and evolves during chronic infection and disease progression; and depends on pH sensor sequences in BabA and on pH reversible formation of high-affinity binding BabA multimers. We propose that BabA's extraordinary reversible acid responsiveness enables tight mucosal bacterial adherence while also allowing an effective escape from epithelial cells and mucus that are shed into the acidic bactericidal lumen and that bio-selection and changes in BabA binding properties through mutation and recombination with babA-related genes are selected by differences among individuals and by changes in gastric acidity over time. These processes generate diverse H. pylori subpopulations, in which BabA's adaptive evolution contributes to H. pylori persistence and overt gastric disease.