Expressed by a variety of plants, fungi and bacteria, the urease enzyme is directly associated
with the virulence factor of many bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori, a gram-negative bacterium
related to several gastrointestinal diseases and responsible for one of the most frequent bacterial
infections throughout the world. The Helicobacter pylori Urease (HPU) is a nickel-dependent
metalloenzyme expressed in response to the environmental stress caused by the acidic pH of the
stomach. The enzyme promotes the increase of gastric pH through acid neutralization by the products
of urea hydrolysis, then critically contributing to the colonization and pathogenesis of the microorganism.
At the same time, standard treatments for Helicobacter pylori infections have limitations
such as the increasing bacterial resistance to the antibiotics used in the clinical practice. As a
strategy for the development of novel treatments, urease inhibitors have proved to be promising,
with a wide range of chemical compounds, including natural, synthetic and semisynthetic products
to be researched and potentially developed as new drugs. In this context, this review highlights the
advances in the field of HPU inhibition, presenting and discussing the basis for the research of new
molecules aiming at the identification of more efficient therapeutic entities.