Characterizing Two cagPAI Located Small RNAs in Helicobacter pylori

Faculty Mentor

Andrea Castillo


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Approximately 50% of the human population is infected with Helicobacter pylori, which can lead to gastrointestinal disease such as ulcers and gastric adenocarcinoma. Some Helicobacter pylori strains contain a DNA region called the cytotoxin associated gene pathogenicity island (cagPAI) that encodes virulence factors. Gastrointestinal disease associated with H. pylori are more likely to occur in infections with cagPAI positive strains. Helicobacter pylori has few known transcriptional regulators, however a transcriptome analysis conducted by Sharma et al. (2010) identified 60 previously unknown small RNAs (sRNA), suggesting their role in gene regulation may be significant. Small RNAs are short non-coding transcripts that bind to target mRNA through complementary base-pairing and regulate gene expression. Our group previously identified three sRNAs encoded within the cagPAI, HPnc2525, HPnc2645, and HPnc2665. Increasing knowledge of how H. pylori regulates genes in the clinically important cagPAI may lead to greater possibilities for treatment. My objective is to characterize the regulatory elements of two predicted sRNAs in the cagPAI. To do this, I will use a bioinformatics approach to identify consensus sequences that allow the sRNAs to be formed. So far, the results indicate that HPnc2620 (a Sharma et al. predicted sRNA) and HPnc2665 are highly conserved in H. pylori (p-values -H. pylori Helicobacter species (p-values<0.05).

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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