|Helicobacter pylori HtrA is a new secreted virulence factor that cleaves E-cadherin to disrupt intercellular adhesion.|
Hoy, Benjamin, et al.
EMBO Rep., 11: 798-804 (2010)
Mammalian and prokaryotic high-temperature requirement A (HtrA) proteins are chaperones and serine proteases with important roles in protein quality control. Here, we describe an entirely new function of HtrA and identify it as a new secreted virulence factor from Helicobacter pylori, which cleaves the ectodomain of the cell-adhesion protein E-cadherin. E-cadherin shedding disrupts epithelial barrier functions allowing H. pylori designed to access the intercellular space. We then designed a small-molecule inhibitor that efficiently blocks HtrA activity, E-cadherin cleavage and intercellular entry of H. pylori.