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Helicobacter pylori is a successful pathogen of the human stomach. Despite a vigorous immune response by the gastric mucosa, the bacterium survives in its ecological niche, thus favoring diseases ranging from chronic gastritis to adenocarcinoma. The current literature demonstrates that high-output of nitric oxide (NO) production by the inducible enzyme NO synthase-2 (NOS2) plays major functions in host defense against bacterial infections. However, pathogens have elaborated several strategies to counteract the deleterious effects of NO; this includes inhibition of host NO synthesis and transcriptional regulation in response to reactive nitrogen species, allowing the bacteria to face the nitrosative stress. Moreover, NO is also a critical mediator of inflammation and carcinogenesis. In this context, we review the recent findings on the expression of NOS2 in H. pylori-infected gastric tissues and epithelial cells, the role of NO in H. pylori-related diseases and H. pylori gene expression, and the mechanisms whereby H. pylori regulates NO synthesis by host cells.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.