Two key virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori are the secreted virulent proteins of vacuolating toxin A (VacA) and cytotoxin associated protein A (CagA) which lead to damages of gastric epithelial cells. We previously identified that the cyanidin 3-O-glucoside (C3G) inhibits the secretion of both VacA and CagA In the current report, we show that C3G inhibits VacA secretion in a dose-dependent manner by inhibiting secretion system subunit protein A (SecA) synthesis. As SecA is involved in translocation of bacterial proteins, we predicted that inhibition of the SecA pathway by C3G should decrease H. pylori-induced cell death. To test this hypothesis, the human gastric cell line KATO III cells were co-cultured with H. pylori 60190 (VacA+/CagA+) and C3G. We found that C3G treatment caused a decrease in activation of the pro-apoptotic proteins caspa-se-3/-8 in H. pylori-infected cells leading to a decrease in cell death. Our data suggest that consumption of foods containing anthocyanin may be beneficial in reducing cell damage due to H. pylori infection.
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