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Sequence analyses of fimbriae subunit FimA proteins on Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 and Actinomyces odontolyticus with variant carbohydrate binding specificities.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Odontology, Cariology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Odontology, Cariology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Odontology, Cariology.
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2006 (English)In: BMC Microbiology, ISSN 1471-2180, Vol. 43, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 express type-2 fimbriae (FimA subunit polymers) with variant Galbeta binding specificities and Actinomyces odontolyticus a sialic acid specificity to colonize different oral surfaces. However, the fimbrial nature of the sialic acid binding property and sequence information about FimA proteins from multiple strains are lacking. RESULTS: Here we have sequenced fimA genes from strains of A.naeslundii genospecies 1 (n = 4) and genospecies 2 (n = 4), both of which harboured variant Galbeta-dependent hemagglutination (HA) types, and from A.odontolyticus PK984 with a sialic acid-dependent HA pattern. Three unique subtypes of FimA proteins with 63.8-66.4% sequence identity were present in strains of A. naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 and A. odontolyticus. The generally high FimA sequence identity (> 97.2%) within a genospecies revealed species specific sequences or segments that coincided with binding specificity. All three FimA protein variants contained a signal peptide, pilin motif, E box, proline-rich segment and an LPXTG sorting motif among other conserved segments for secretion, assembly and sorting of fimbrial proteins. The highly conserved pilin, E box and LPXTG motifs are present in fimbriae proteins from other Gram-positive bacteria. Moreover, only strains of genospecies 1 were agglutinated with type-2 fimbriae antisera derived from A. naeslundii genospecies 1 strain 12104, emphasizing that the overall folding of FimA may generate different functionalities. Western blot analyses with FimA antisera revealed monomers and oligomers of FimA in whole cell protein extracts and a purified recombinant FimA preparation, indicating a sortase-independent oligomerization of FimA. CONCLUSION: The genus Actinomyces involves a diversity of unique FimA proteins with conserved pilin, E box and LPXTG motifs, depending on subspecies and associated binding specificity. In addition, a sortase independent oligomerization of FimA subunit proteins in solution was indicated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 43, no 6
Keyword [en]
biofilm, adhesion, fimbriae
National Category
Dentistry Dentistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12937DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-6-43PubMedID: 16686953OAI: diva2:152608
Available from: 2007-11-01 Created: 2007-11-01 Last updated: 2009-10-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Adhesion-related interactions of Actinomyces and Streptococcus biofilm bacteria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adhesion-related interactions of Actinomyces and Streptococcus biofilm bacteria
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Adhesion of bacteria is a key event in biofilm formation and is mediated by bacterial adhesins recognising host or bacterial partner receptors. In oral biofilm formation, primary Actinomyces and Streptococcus colonizers adhere to salivary pellicle proteins such as proline-rich proteins (PRPs) as well as to mucosal surfaces. Subsequently, Actinomyces and Streptococcus strains and other bacteria, such as Veillonella, Fusobacterium and Porphyromonas, adhere to each other. The nature of this community is highly important for the health or disease status, although specific pathogenic species may also have been implicated.

The aim of this thesis was to study key players in early oral colonisation, Actinomyces and Streptococcus species, and more specifically the nature of their adhesins and ligands. A further aim was to study the function of the salivary PRP proteins and an innate peptide derived thereof on bacterial adhesion, proliferation and regulation of pH, i.e. key factors in biofilm formation.

In paper I and II, adhesion, proliferation and pH affecting features of the RGRPQ (arginine-glycine-arginine-proline-glutamine) peptide, derived from PRP-1, were demonstrated. By use of an alanine-scan (I), motifs for adhesion inhibition and desorption of Actinomyces naeslundii, and proliferation stimulation, ammonia production and inhibition of sucrose induced pH drop by Streptococcus gordonii were indicated. The RGRPQ peptide also stimulated S. gordonii colonisation in vivo. In paper II, a more sophisticated quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) study, using statistical molecular design (SMD) and multivariate modelling (partial least squares projections to latent structures, PLS), further narrowed down the RGRPQ peptide motifs. The R and Q amino acids were crucial for activity. For proliferation a hydrophobic and large size third position amino acid was crucial, while adhesion inhibition and desorption needed a small hydrophilic second position amino acid. All functions depended on a low polarity hydrophobic fourth position. Accordingly, activities could be optimized separately, with decreased function in the others.

In paper III and IV, focus was on the bacterial adhesins and their binding epitopes. The genes for FimA major subunit proteins of type-2 fimbriae were sequenced from A. naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 and Actinomyces odontolyticus, each with unique carbohydrate binding specificities (III). Three major subtypes of FimA proteins were found that correlated with binding specificity, including a novel fimA gene in A. odontolyticus. All subtypes contained a pilin, LPXTG and E box motif. In paper IV, multiple PRP binding patterns for Actinomyces and Streptococcus strains were mapped using a hybrid peptide construct. The two most deviating binding groups deviated in type-1 fimbriae mediated binding to milk and saliva protein ligands.

In conclusion, differences in bacterial adhesins and their ability to utilise salivary proteins may render bacteria tropism for different niches. Peptides derived from protein receptors, such as RGRPQ, may be important modulators of biofilm formation, giving commensal bacteria a competitive edge in the bacterial community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Odontologi, 2006. 45 p.
Umeå University odontological dissertations, ISSN 0345-7532 ; 92
biofilm, Actinomyces, Streptococcus, adhesion
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-860 (URN)91-7264-111-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-09-29, Sal B, Tandläkarhögskolan 9 tr, 90187 Umeå, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-09-08 Created: 2006-09-08 Last updated: 2009-10-01Bibliographically approved

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