Published online Dec 21, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i47.18057
Revised: June 21, 2014
Accepted: July 29, 2014
Published online: December 21, 2014
Virulence of Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter suis and other bacteria appears to be partly mediated through a release of gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), an enzyme activity capable of promoting biochemical reactions ultimately resulting in damage to gastric epithelium and suppression of immune response. Recently published studies show that secretion of bacterial GGT occurs in the form of exosome-like vesicles. Very similar GGT-rich exosomes have been described to originate from human cancer cells, and the hypothesis is thus forwarded that in the resistant and invasive phenotype of malignant cells such vesicular/exosomal GGT may play roles akin to those described for Helicobacter infection, thus providing a significant contribution to the establishment of cancer metastases.
Core tip: Biochemical reactions promoted by gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) of Helicobacter is capable of causing damage to gastric epithelium and suppression of immune response. Bacterial GGT is secreted as exosome-like vescicles, and very similar GGT-rich exosomes are released from human cancer cells. In the resistant and invasive phenotype of malignant cells, such secreted GGT may play roles akin to those described for Helicobacter infection, concurring to the establishment of cancer metastases.