About half of the world's population carries , a gram-negative, spiral bacterium that colonizes the human stomach. The link between and, ulceration as well as its association with the development of both gastric cancer and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma in humans is a serious public health concern. The publication of the genome sequences of two stains of gives rise to direct evidence on the genetic diversity reported previously with respect to gene organization and nucleotide variability from strain to strain. The genome size of strain 26695 is 1,6697,867 bp and is 1,643,831 bp for strain J99. Approximately 89% of the predicted open reading frames are common to both of the strains, confirming as a single species. A region containing ∼45% of strain-specific open reading frames, termed the plasticity zone, is present on the chromosomes, verifying that some strain variability exists. Frequent alteration of nucleotides in the third position of the triplet codons and various copies of insertion elements on the individual chromosomes appear to contribute to distinct polymorphic fingerprints among strains analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphisms, random amplified polymorphic DNA method, and repetitive element–polymerase chain reaction. Disordered chromosomal locations of some genes seen by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis are likely caused by rearrangement or inversion of certain segments in the genomes. Cloning and functional characterization of the genes involved in acidic survival, vacuolating toxin, -pathogenicity island, motility, attachment to epithelial cells, natural transformation, and the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharides have considerably increased our understanding of the molecular genetic basis for the pathogenesis of . The homopolymeric nucleotide tracts and dinucleotide repeats, which potentially regulate the on- and off-status of the target genes by the strand-slipped mispairing mechanism, are often found in the genes encoding the outer-membrane proteins, in enzymes for lipopolysaccharide synthesis, and within DNA modification/restriction systems. Therefore, these genes may be involved in the –host interaction.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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