Helicobacter pylori VacA, a distinct toxin exerts diverse functionalities in numerous cells: An overview

Nidhi Chauhan, Alfred Chin Yen Tay, Barry J. Marshall, Utkarsh Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background Helicobacter pylori, gastric cancer-causing bacteria, survive in their gastric environment of more than 50% of the world population. The presence of H. pylori in the gastric vicinity promotes the development of various diseases including peptic ulcer and gastric carcinoma. H. pylori produce and secret Vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA), a major toxin facilitating the bacteria against the host defense system. The toxin causes multiple effects in epithelial cells and immune cells, especially T cells, B cells, and Macrophages. Methods This review describes the diverse functionalities of protein toxin VacA. The specific objective of this review is to address the overall structure, mechanism, and functions of VacA in various cell types. The recent advancements are summarized and discussed and thus conclusion is drawn based on the overall reported evidences. Results The searched articles on H. pylori VacA were evaluated and limited up to 66 articles for this review. The articles were divided into four major categories including articles on vacA gene, VacA toxin, distinct effects of VacA toxin, and their effects on various cells. Based on these studies, the review article was prepared. Conclusions This review describes an overview of how VacA is secreted by H. pylori and contributes to colonization and virulence in multiple ways by affecting epithelial cells, T cells, Dendritic cells, B cells, and Macrophages. The reported evidence suggests that the comprehensive outlook need to be developed for understanding distinctive functionalities of VacA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12544
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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