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Gene Review

ureA  -  urease subunit alpha

Helicobacter pylori J99

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Disease relevance of ureA

  • A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for Helicobacter pylori was developed with use of primer sequences from the ureA structural gene coding for the small subunit of urease [1].
  • Duodenal H. pylori ureA was significantly more frequent in patients with duodenal diseases than in those without (p <.01), cagA positive strains being mainly involved in the infection of this anatomical area (p <.01) [2].
  • The aim of the present study was to correlate molecular evidence of the presence of Helicobacter pylori in gastric biopsy samples, based on analysis of 16S rDNA, vacuolating toxin (vacA), urease A (ureA) and cagA genes, with the clinical, histological and serological findings in patients with H. pylori-associated gastritis [3].

High impact information on ureA

  • The transcription start point of ureI was identified by primer extension using a ureA promoter-deleted mutant, and a consensus sequence of RpoD-RNA polymerase was found in the ureI promoter [4].
  • With one exception, each isolate not distinguished from the others by RFLPs in ureA-ureB was distinguished by Mbol digestion of the neighboring 1.7 kb ureC-ureD segment [5].
  • Furthermore, deletion of a distal upstream ArsR binding site of the ureA promoter demonstrates its role in acid-dependent activation of the promoter [6].
  • The carcinoma patients were considered to be H. pylori-positive if culture alone or 2 among preformed urease test, stained smear or histologic section, serology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for ureA and urea breath test were positive [7].
  • Expressing sigma(54) at high levels by putting rpoN under the control of the ureA promoter restored flagellar biogenesis and motility in the hp0958:aphA3 mutant [8].

Biological context of ureA

  • Plasmid-free mutagenesis was used to replace ureA and ureB with chloramphenicol acetyltransferase in Hp Strains 11637 and 11916. ureAB null Hp lacked detectable urease activity and did not express UreA or UreB as judged by immunoblotting [9].
  • Here the properties of the products of the urease gene clusters, ureA, B and ureI, E, F, G and H are explored in order to explain the unique location of this pathogen [10].
  • The gene complex encodes catalytic subunits (ureA/B), an acid-gated urea channel (ureI), and accessory assembly proteins (ureE-H) [11].
  • The amino acid sequences of the ureA and the phylogenetic relationship of the 29 strains indicated that the strains in Taiwan are rapidly evolving into a unique clone [12].
  • When 16S rRNA, ureA and cagA amplified gene sequences were aligned with H. pylori 26695 and J99 genome sequences, we obtained a percentage of alignment over 90% [13].

Anatomical context of ureA

  • Incubation of nonculturable cold-starved cells with an erythrocyte lysate increased total RNA expression and ureA mRNA transcription as measured by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR [14].
  • In a subset of 171 patients H. pylori ureaseA (ureA) and cagA genes were amplified (PCR) using mucosal biopsies from the duodenum [2].
  • DESIGN AND METHODS: Helicobacter pylori status was recorded in Group 1 (n = 187) by UBT, H. pylori stool antigen, ureA and cagA PCR in feces [15].

Associations of ureA with chemical compounds

  • DNA extraction of stool specimens was done using QIAamp DNA Stool Mini Kit (QIAGEN) and PCR conditions included amplification and reamplification steps using the H. pylori ureA gene specific primers (HPU1, HPU2) and were visualized on 1% agarose gel stained with ethidium bromide [16].

Other interactions of ureA

  • No statistical difference was defined in the accumulation of cagA and ureA [17].
  • Helicobacter pylori: ureA, cagA and vacA expression during conversion to the coccoid form [18].
  • In the isogenic mutant of rpoN, transcription of the flaB gene was severely affected, but transcription of the ureA gene (control) was intact [19].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of ureA

  • RT-PCR with ureA primers detected 16 of 25 tissue-positive and 0 of 17 tissue-negative patients (P < 0.001) [20].
  • Variation was analysed at the urease genes, ureA and ureCD, by employing PCR-generated probes in genomic Southern blot hybridizations [21].
  • The study was performed in 47 dyspeptic adult patients undergoing endoscopy, and infection was detected by amplification of a segment of H. pylori ureA gene [22].
  • We evaluated 240 children undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for H. pylori infection by rapid urease test, culture, ureA PCR and histopathology [23].
  • Helicobacter pylori binding immunomagnetic beads with H. pylori-specific goat anti-H. pylori antibody was shown by electron microscopy in both raw and pasteurized milk positive for the ureA gene [24].


  1. Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection by means of a polymerase chain reaction assay for gastric juice aspirates. Westblom, T.U., Phadnis, S., Yang, P., Czinn, S.J. Clin. Infect. Dis. (1993) [Pubmed]
  2. Helicobacter pylori infection in children and adults: a single pathogen but a different pathology. Gallo, N., Zambon, C.F., Navaglia, F., Basso, D., Guariso, G., Grazia Piva, M., Greco, E., Mazza, S., Fogar, P., Rugge, M., Di Mario, F., Plebani, M. Helicobacter (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Identification of Helicobacter in gastric biopsies by PCR based on 16S rDNA sequences: a matter of little significance for the prediction of H. pylori-associated gastritis? Tiveljung, A., Borch, K., Jonasson, J., Mårdh, S., Petersson, F., Monstein, H.J. J. Med. Microbiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Identification of the urease operon in Helicobacter pylori and its control by mRNA decay in response to pH. Akada, J.K., Shirai, M., Takeuchi, H., Tsuda, M., Nakazawa, T. Mol. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. PCR-based RFLP analysis of DNA sequence diversity in the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Akopyanz, N., Bukanov, N.O., Westblom, T.U., Berg, D.E. Nucleic Acids Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
  6. Acid-induced activation of the urease promoters is mediated directly by the ArsRS two-component system of Helicobacter pylori. Pflock, M., Kennard, S., Delany, I., Scarlato, V., Beier, D. Infect. Immun. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. IL1RN polymorphic gene and cagA-positive status independently increase the risk of noncardia gastric carcinoma. Rocha, G.A., Guerra, J.B., Rocha, A.M., Saraiva, I.E., da Silva, D.A., de Oliveira, C.A., Queiroz, D.M. Int. J. Cancer (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Stable accumulation of sigma54 in Helicobacter pylori requires the novel protein HP0958. Pereira, L., Hoover, T.R. J. Bacteriol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  9. Role of urease in megasome formation and Helicobacter pylori survival in macrophages. Schwartz, J.T., Allen, L.A. J. Leukoc. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  10. Review article: the control of gastric acid and Helicobacter pylori eradication. Sachs, G., Shin, J.M., Munson, K., Vagin, O., Lambrecht, N., Scott, D.R., Weeks, D.L., Melchers, K. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. (2000) [Pubmed]
  11. Interactions among the seven Helicobacter pylori proteins encoded by the urease gene cluster. Voland, P., Weeks, D.L., Marcus, E.A., Prinz, C., Sachs, G., Scott, D. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  12. Rate of Helicobacter pylori infection in children and clonality of Taiwan strains. Chu, C., Yu, Y.J., Kong, M.S., Ou, J.T. Microbiol. Immunol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Occurrence of Helicobacter pylori DNA in the coastal environment of southern Italy (Straits of Messina). Carbone, M., Maugeri, T.L., Gugliandolo, C., La Camera, E., Biondo, C., Fera, M.T. J. Appl. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  14. Effect of cold starvation, acid stress, and nutrients on metabolic activity of Helicobacter pylori. Nilsson, H.O., Blom, J., Abu-Al-Soud, W., Ljungh A, A., Andersen, L.P., Wadström, T. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  15. Non-invasive diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection: simplified 13C-urea breath test, stool antigen testing, or DNA PCR in human feces in a clinical laboratory setting? Zambon, C.F., Basso, D., Navaglia, F., Mazza, S., Razetti, M., Fogar, P., Greco, E., Gallo, N., Farinati, F., Rugge, M., Plebani, M. Clin. Biochem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  16. Detection of Helicobacter pylori DNA by a simple stool PCR method in adult dyspeptic patients. Sen, N., Yilmaz, O., Simşek, I., Küpelioğlu, A.A., Ellidokuz, H. Helicobacter (2005) [Pubmed]
  17. Regulation of the transcription of genes encoding different virulence factors in Helicobacter pylori by free iron. Szczebara, F., Dhaenens, L., Armand, S., Husson, M.O. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (1999) [Pubmed]
  18. Helicobacter pylori: ureA, cagA and vacA expression during conversion to the coccoid form. Sisto, F., Brenciaglia, M.I., Scaltrito, M.M., Dubini, F. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents (2000) [Pubmed]
  19. Allelic exchange mutagenesis of rpoN encoding RNA-polymerase sigma54 subunit in Helicobacter pylori. Fujinaga, R., Nakazawa, T., Shirai, M. J. Infect. Chemother. (2001) [Pubmed]
  20. Detection of Helicobacter pylori gene expression in human gastric mucosa. Peek, R.M., Miller, G.G., Tham, K.T., Pérez-Pérez, G.I., Cover, T.L., Atherton, J.C., Dunn, G.D., Blaser, M.J. J. Clin. Microbiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  21. Molecular typing of Helicobacter pylori isolates from asymptomatic, ulcer and gastritis patients by urease gene polymorphism. Desai, M., Linton, D., Owen, R.J., Stanley, J. Epidemiol. Infect. (1994) [Pubmed]
  22. PCR detection of Helicobacter pylori in string-absorbed gastric juice. Domínguez-Bello, M.G., Cienfuentes, C., Romero, R., García, P., Gómez, I., Mago, V., Reyes, N., Gueneau de Novoa, P. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2001) [Pubmed]
  23. Helicobacter pylori infection in children: prevalence, diagnosis and treatment outcome. Singh, M., Prasad, K.N., Yachha, S.K., Saxena, A., Krishnani, N. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. (2006) [Pubmed]
  24. Detection of Helicobacter pylori in cow's milk. Fujimura, S., Kawamura, T., Kato, S., Tateno, H., Watanabe, A. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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