Product(s) used in this publication: Specialty Peptides
The clinical outcome of Helicobacter pylori infections is determined by multiple host-pathogen interactions that may develop to chronic gastritis, and sometimes peptic ulcers or gastric cancer. Highly virulent strains encode a type IV secretion system (T4SS) that delivers the effector protein CagA into gastric epithelial cells. Translocated CagA undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation at EPIYA-sequence motifs, called A, B and C in Western-type strains, by members of the oncogenic Src and Abl host kinases. Phosphorylated EPIYA-motifs mediate interactions of CagA with host signaling factors--in particular various SH2-domain containing human proteins--thereby hijacking multiple downstream signaling cascades. Observations of tyrosine-phosphorylated CagA are mainly based on the use of commercial phosphotyrosine antibodies, which originally were selected to detect phosphotyrosines in mammalian proteins. Systematic studies of phosphorylated EPIYA-motif detection by the different antibodies would be very useful, but are not yet available. To address this issue, we synthesized phospho- and non-phosphopeptides representing each predominant Western CagA EPIYA-motif, and determined the recognition patterns of seven different phosphotyrosine antibodies in Western blots, and also performed infection studies with diverse representative Western H. pylori strains. Our results show that a total of 9-11 amino acids containing the phosphorylated EPIYA-motifs are necessary and sufficient for specific detection by these antibodies, but revealed great variability in sequence recognition. Three of the antibodies recognized phosphorylated EPIYA-motifs A, B and C similarly well; whereas preferential binding to phosphorylated motif A and motifs A and C was found with two and one antibodies, respectively, and the seventh anti-phosphotyrosine antibody did not recognize any phosphorylated EPIYA-motif. Controls showed that none of the antibodies recognized the corresponding non-phospho CagA peptides, and that all of them recognized phosphotyrosines in mammalian proteins. These data are valuable in judicious application of commercial anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies and in characterization of CagA phosphorylation during infection and disease development.