Role of Campylobacter jejuni gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase on epithelial cell apoptosis and lymphocyte proliferation

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Background: A gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) is produced by up to 31% of strains of Campylobacter jejuni isolates. C. jejuni GGT is close to Helicobacter pylori GGT suggesting a conserved activity but unlike the latter, C. jejuni GGT has not been studied extensively. In line with the data available for H. pylori, our objectives were to purify C. jejuni GGT from the bacteria, and to evaluate its inhibitory and proapoptotic activities on epithelial cells and human lymphocytes. Methods. C. jejuni GGT was purified from culture supernatants by chromatography. After verification of the purity by using mass spectrometry of the purified enzyme, its action on two epithelial cell lines and human lymphocytes was investigated. Cell culture as well as flow cytometry experiments were developed for these purposes. Results: This study demonstrated that C. jejuni GGT is related to Helicobacter GGTs and inhibits the proliferation of epithelial cells with no proapoptotic activity. C. jejuni GGT also inhibits lymphocyte proliferation by causing a cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase. These effects are abolished in the presence of a specific pharmacological inhibitor of GGT. Conclusion: C. jejuni GGT activity is comparable to that of other Epsilonproteobacteria GGTs and more generally to Helicobacter bilis (inhibition of epithelial cell and lymphocyte proliferation, however with no proapoptotic activity). It could therefore be considered as a pathogenicity factor and promote, via the inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation, the persistence of the bacteria in the host. These observations are consistent with a role of this enzyme in the pathophysiology of chronic infections associated with C. jejuni. © 2014 Floch et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Floch, P., Pey, V., Castroviejo, M., Dupuy, J. W., Bonneu, M., De La Guardia, A. H., … Lehours, P. (2014). Role of Campylobacter jejuni gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase on epithelial cell apoptosis and lymphocyte proliferation. Gut Pathogens, 6(1).

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