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LuxS-dependent quorum sensing in Porphyromonas gingivalis modulates protease and haemagglutinin activities but is not essential for virulence.

Burgess, Nicola A. and Kirke, David F. and Williams, Paul and Winzer, Klaus and Hardie, Kim R. and Meyers, Nicholas L. and Aduse-Opoku, Joseph and Curtis, Michael A. and Cámara, Miguel (2002) LuxS-dependent quorum sensing in Porphyromonas gingivalis modulates protease and haemagglutinin activities but is not essential for virulence. Microbiology, 148 (3). pp. 763-772. ISSN 1350-0872

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Abstract

Porphyromonas gingivalis is a Gram-negative black-pigmented obligate anaerobe implicated in the aetiology of human periodontal disease. The virulence of P. gingivalis is associated with the elaboration of the cysteine proteases Arg-gingipain (Rgp) and Lys-gingipain (Kgp), which are produced at high bacterial cell densities. To determine whether quorum sensing plays a role in the regulation of Rgp and Kgp, biosensors capable of detecting either N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHLs) or the luxS-dependent autoinducer (AI-2) quorum-sensing signalling molecules in spent culture supernatants were first employed. While no AHLs could be detected, the Vibrio harveyi BB170 biosensor was activated by spent P. gingivalis W50 culture supernatants. The P. gingivalis luxS gene was cloned and demonstrated to restore AI-2 production in the Escherichia coli luxS mutant DH5. Mutation of luxS abolished AI-2 production in P. gingivalis. Western blotting using antibodies raised against the recombinant protein revealed that LuxS levels increased throughout growth even though AI-2 activity was only maximally detected at the mid-exponential phase of growth and disappeared by the onset of stationary phase. Similar results were obtained with E. coli DH5 transformed with luxS, suggesting that AI-2 production is not limited by a lack of LuxS protein. Analysis of Rgp and Kgp protease activities revealed that the P. gingivalis luxS mutant produced around 45% less Rgp and 30% less Kgp activity than the parent strain. In addition, the luxS mutant exhibited a fourfold reduction in haemagglutinin titre. However, these reductions in virulence determinant levels were insufficient to attenuate the luxS mutant in a murine lesion model of P. gingivalis infection.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Microbiology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Porphyromonas gingivalis ; luxS ; quorum sensing ; gingipains ; haemagglutinins
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Biomedical & Life Sciences
ID Code: 9558
Deposited By: Dr Klaus Winzer
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2008 11:13
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 22:17
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9558

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