Analysis of 3'-end variable region of the cagA gene in Helicobacter pylori isolated from Iranian population
Background and Aims: The 3' region of the cagA gene, the most well-known virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori, contains Glu-Pro-Ile-Tyr-Ala (EPIYA) motifs. Four segments flanking the EPIYA motifs, EPIYA-A, -B, -C, or -D, were reported to play important roles in H. pylori-related gastroduodenal pathogenesis. The aim was to determine the roles of EPIYA segments in gastroduodenal pathogenesis in an Iranian population. Methods: A total of 92 cagA-positive Iranian strains isolated from dyspepsia patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia (n = 77), peptic ulcer (n = 11) and gastric cancer (n = 4) were studied. The EPIYA motif genotyping was determined by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing. Results: A total of 86 (93.5%) strains had three copies of EPIYA (ABC type), three (3.3%) had four copies (ABCC type) and three (3.3%) had two copies (AB type). The alignment of the deduced protein sequences confirmed that there were no East Asian type EPIYA-D sequences (EPIYATIDFDEANQAG) in Iranian strains. When the prevalence of strains with multiple EPIYA-C segments in Iran was compared with previously published data, it was much lower than that in Colombia and Italy, but was higher than that of Iraq, and the patterns were parallel to the incidence of gastric cancer in these countries. Conclusion: The structure of the 3' region of the cagA gene in Iranian strains was Western type. Although we could not find differences between EPIYA types and clinical outcomes, low prevalence of strains with multiple EPIYA-C segments might be reasons for low incidence of gastric cancer in Iran.