An OmpA-like protein from Acinetobacter spp. stimulates gastrin and interleukin-8 promoters

Ernest Ofori-Darko, Yana Zavros, Gabriele Rieder, Susan A. Tarlé, Mary Van Antwerp, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Bacterial overgrowth in the stomach may occur under conditions of diminished or absent acid secretion. Under these conditions, secretion of the hormone gastrin is elevated. Alternatively, bacterial factors may directly stimulate gastrin. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that mice colonized for 2 months with a mixed bacterial culture of opportunistic pathogens showed an increase in serum gastrin. To examine regulation of gene expression by bacterial proteins, stable transformants of AGS cells expressing gastrin or interleukin-8 (IL-8) promoters were cocultured with live organisms. Both whole-cell sonicates and a heat-stable fraction were also coincubated with the cells. A level of 108 organisms per ml stimulated both the gastrin and IL-8 promoters. Heat-stable proteins prepared from these bacterial sonicates stimulated the promoter significantly more than the live organism or unheated sonicates. A 38-kDa heat-stable protein stimulating the gastrin and 1L-8 promoters was cloned and found to be an OmpA-related protein. Immunoblotting using antibody to the OmpA-like protein identified an Acinetobacter sp. as the bacterial species that expressed this protein and colonized the mouse stomach. Moreover, reintubation of mice with a pure culture of the Acinetobacter sp. caused gastritis. We conclude that bacterial colonization of the stomach may increase serum gastrin levels in part through the ability of the bacteria to produce OmpA-like proteins that directly stimulate gastrin and IL-8 gene expression. These results implicate OmpA- secreting bacteria in the activation of gastrin gene expression and raise the possibility that a variety of organisms may contribute to the increase in serum gastrin and subsequent epithelial cell proliferation in the hypochlorhydric stomach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3657-3666
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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