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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Metabolic activities of metronidazole-sensitive and -resistant strains of Helicobacter pylori: repression of pyruvate oxidoreductase and expression of isocitrate lyase activity correlate with resistance.

In this study, we compared metronidazole (Mtz)-sensitive and -resistant strains of Helicobacter pylori for metabolic differences that might correlate with drug resistance. Included in this study was an isogenic Mtz(r) strain, HP1107, that was constructed by transforming genomic DNA from Mtz(r) strain HP439 into Mtz(s) strain HP500. Enzyme activities were also measured for Mtz(r) strains grown in the presence or absence of 18 micrograms of metronidazole per ml (ca. one-half of the MIC). These studies confirmed the presence of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas, Entner-Doudoroff, and pentose pathways. H. pylori strains expressed enzymatic activities indicative of a complete and active Krebs cycle. All strains expressed pyruvate oxidoreductase ( POR) and alpha-ketoglutarate oxidoreductase (KOR) as measured with the redox-active dye benzyl viologen (30 to 96 nmol/min/mg of protein for POR and 30 nmol/min/mg of protein for KOR). When grown in the presence of Mtz at > or = 3.5 micrograms/ml, Mtz(r) strains expressed no detectable POR or KOR activity. The apparent repression of POR and KOR activities by Mtz affected bacterial growth as manifest by extended lag periods and growth yield reductions of > 30%. A dose-dependent relationship was demonstrated between the metronidazole concentration in the growth medium and the specific activity of POR measured in bacterial cell extracts. The observed repression was not due to inactivation of POR by Mtz. In addition to repression of POR and KOR activities, growth in the presence of Mtz also led to decreases in the activities of various Krebs cycle enzymes, including aconitase, isocitrate dehydrogenase and succinate dehydrogenase. All of the Mtz(r) strains examined expressed isocitrate lyase and malate synthase activities indicative of the glyoxylate bypass. No isocitrate lyase activity was detected in Mtz(s) strain HP500. Isocitrate lyase activity was expressed by HP500 following transformation to Mtz resistance (Mtz(r) strain HP1107) with DNA from an Mtz(r) strain. The results of this study suggest that Mtz resistance may be a recessive trait, possibly involving inactivation of a regulatory gene, that results in constitutive expression of isocitrate lyase. Repression of POR and KOR activities in response to low levels of Mtz may be a general response of H. pylori strains to Mtz, but only resistant strains manage to survive via activation of compensatory metabolic pathways.[1]

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