Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 7, 2017; 23(37): 6817-6832
Published online Oct 7, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i37.6817
Glycosylation-related gene expression in HT29-MTX-E12 cells upon infection by Helicobacter pylori
Michael T Cairns, Ananya Gupta, Julie A Naughton, Marian Kane, Marguerite Clyne, Lokesh Joshi
Michael T Cairns, Marian Kane, Lokesh Joshi, Glycoscience Group, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 CF50 Galway, Ireland
Ananya Gupta, School of Natural Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 CF50 Galway, Ireland
Julie A Naughton, Marguerite Clyne, Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
Author contributions: Cairns MT, Gupta A and Naughton JA performed the majority of the experiments; Cairns MT analysed the data; Clyne M and Joshi L designed and coordinated the research; Cairns MT, Kane M and Clyne M wrote the paper.
Supported by Science Foundation Ireland, SFI AGRC Grant, No. 08/SRC/B1393.
Institutional review board statement: This study did not involve either human or animal subjects.
Institutional animal care and use committee statement: This study did not involve animal subjects.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts-of-interest.
Data sharing statement: All microarray data is available from the Gene Expression Omnibus database as dataset GSE74492. Other data is available from the corresponding author at
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Michael T Cairns, Senior Research Fellow, Glycoscience Group, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, National University of Ireland Galway, University Rd, H91 CF50 Galway, Ireland.
Telephone: +353-91492094
Received: February 18, 2017
Peer-review started: February 20, 2017
First decision: April 7, 2017
Revised: June 9, 2017
Accepted: July 12, 2017
Article in press: July 12, 2017
Published online: October 7, 2017

To identify glycosylation-related genes in the HT29 derivative cell line, HT29-MTX-E12, showing differential expression on infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).


Polarised HT29-MTX-E12 cells were infected for 24 h with H. pylori strain 26695. After infection RNA was isolated from both infected and non-infected host cells. Sufficient infections were carried out to provide triplicate samples for microarray analysis and for qRT-PCR analysis. RNA was isolated and hybridised to Affymetrix arrays. Analysis of microarray data identified genes significantly differentially expressed upon infection. Genes were grouped into gene ontology functional categories. Selected genes associated with host glycan structure (glycosyltransferases, hydrolases, lectins, mucins) were validated by real-time qRT-PCR analysis.


Infection of host cells was confirmed by the isolation of live bacteria after 24 h incubation and by PCR amplification of bacteria-specific genes from the host cell RNA. H. pylori do not survive incubation under the adopted culture conditions unless they associate with the adherent mucus layer of the host cell. Microarray analysis identified a total of 276 genes that were significantly differentially expressed (P < 0.05) upon H. pylori infection and where the fold change in expression was greater than 2. Six of these genes are involved in glycosylation-related processes. Real-time qRT-PCR demonstrated significant downregulation (1.8-fold, P < 0.05) of the mucin MUC20. REG4 was heavily expressed and significantly downregulated (3.1-fold, P < 0.05) upon infection. Gene ontology analysis was consistent with previous studies on H. pylori infection.


Gene expression data suggest that infection with H. pylori causes a decrease in glycan synthesis, resulting in shorter and simpler glycan structures.

Keywords: Glycosylation, Adherent mucus, Gastric, HT29-MTX-E12, H. pylori strain 26695, Transcriptomics

Core tip: Few studies on Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection focus on glycosylation-related genes in the host cells yet key cell-cell interactions are likely mediated through surface glycoconjugates. We use HT29-MTX-E12 cells, a promising and novel model of the stomach epithelium, to investigate the transcriptomic effects of H. pylori infection. HT29-MTX-E12 cells produce a thick adherent mucus layer and show a level of pluripotency that gastric cells naturally present and which some other model cell lines do not. Furthermore both H. pylori strain 26695 (lacks BabA adhesin) and HT29-MTX-E12 host cells (TLR2-negative) have some features atypical of more common models of H. pylori infection.