Flagellar localization of a Helicobacter pylori autotransporter protein

Jana N. Radin, Jennifer A. Gaddy, Christian González-Rivera, John T. Loh, Holly M. Scott Algood, Timothy L. Cover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Helicobacter pylori contains four genes that are predicted to encode proteins secreted by the autotransporter (type V) pathway. One of these, the pore-forming toxin VacA, has been studied in great detail, but thus far there has been very little investigation of three VacA-like proteins. We show here that all three VacA-like proteins are>250 kDa in mass and localized on the surface of H. pylori. The expression of the three vacA-like genes is upregulated during H. pylori colonization of the mouse stomach compared to H. pylori growth in vitro, and a wild-type H. pylori strain outcompeted each of the three corresponding isogenic mutant strains in its ability to colonize the mouse stomach. One of the VacA-like proteins localizes to a sheath that overlies the flagellar filament and bulb, and therefore, we designate it FaaA (flagella-associated autotransporter A). In comparison to a wild-type H. pylori strain, an isogenic faaA mutant strain exhibits decreased motility, decreased flagellar stability, and an increased proportion of flagella in a nonpolar site. The flagellar localization of FaaA differs markedly from the localization of other known autotransporters, and the current results reveal an important role of FaaA in flagellar localization and motility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00613-12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology


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