The combination of sucrose and starch in the presence of surface-adsorbed salivary α-amylase and bacterial glucosyltransferases increase the formation of a structurally and metabolically distinctive biofilm by Streptococcus mutans. This host-pathogen-diet interaction may modulate the formation of pathogenic biofilms related to dental caries disease. We conducted a comprehensive study to further investigate the influence of the dietary carbohydrates on S. mutans-transcriptome at distinct stages of biofilm development using whole genomic profiling with a new computational tool (MDV) for data mining. S. mutans UA159 biofilms were formed on amylase-active saliva coated hydroxyapatite discs in the presence of various concentrations of sucrose alone (ranging from 0.25 to 5% w/v) or in combination with starch (0.5 to 1% w/v). Overall, the presence of sucrose and starch (suc+st) influenced the dynamics of S. mutans transcriptome (vs. sucrose alone), which may be associated with gradual digestion of starch by surface-adsorbed amylase. At 21 h of biofilm formation, most of the differentially expressed genes were related to sugar metabolism, such as upregulation of genes involved in maltose/maltotriose uptake and glycogen synthesis. In addition, the groEL/groES chaperones were induced in the suc+st-biofilm, indicating that presence of starch hydrolysates may cause environmental stress. In contrast, at 30 h of biofilm development, multiple genes associated with sugar uptake/transport (e.g. maltose), two-component systems, fermentation/glycolysis and iron transport were differentially expressed in suc+st-biofilms (vs. sucrose-biofilms). Interestingly, lytT (bacteria autolysis) was upregulated, which was correlated with presence of extracellular DNA in the matrix of suc+st-biofilms. Specific genes related to carbohydrate uptake and glycogen metabolism were detected in suc+st-biofilms in more than one time point, indicating an association between presence of starch hydrolysates and intracellular polysaccharide storage. Our data show complex remodeling of S. mutans-transcriptome in response to changing environmental conditions in situ, which could modulate the dynamics of biofilm development and pathogenicity.
Interspecies binding is important in the colonization of the oral cavity by bacteria. Streptococcus mutans can adhere to other plaque bacteria, such as Streptococcus sanguis and Actinomyces viscosus, and this adherence is enhanced by saliva. The salivary and bacterial molecules that mediate this interaction were investigated. Salivary agglutinin, a mucinlike glycoprotein known to mediate the aggregation of many oral streptococci in vitro, was found to mediate the adherence of S. mutans to S. sanguis or A. viscosus. Adherence of S. mutans to saliva- or agglutinin-coated S. sanguis and A. viscosus was inhibited by antibodies to the bacterial agglutinin receptor. Expression of the S. sanguis receptor (SSP-5) gene in Enterococcus faecalis increased adhesion of this organism to saliva- or agglutinin-coated S. sanguis and A. viscosus. This interaction could be inhibited by antibodies to the agglutinin receptor. The results suggest that salivary agglutinin can promote adherence of S. mutans to S. sanguis and A. viscosus through interactions with the agglutinin receptor on S. mutans.
The ability to adhere to salivary agglutinin-coated hydroxyapatite beads and to aggregate in the presence of fluid-phase salivary agglutinin was tested by using 25 isolates of mutants streptococci representing eight serotypes. Both adherence and aggregation activity correlated with expression of the Mr-185,000 cell surface antigen P1 on Streptococcus mutans serotype c, e, and f strains. In addition, it was shown that the P1 molecule itself served as the adhesin of S. mutans serotype c, since adherence was significantly inhibited by the presence of recombinant-specified Mr-150,000 P1. The ability of S. sobrinus strains to adhere or aggregate did not correlate with expression of the P1 cross-reactive antigen SpaA. There was also evidence for interaction with salivary agglutinin, as manifested by aggregation but not adherence of S. rattus serotype b, which does not express a P1 cross-reactive antigen. To understand the interaction of P1 with salivary agglutinin at the molecular level, a panel of 11 anti-P1 monoclonal antibodies was tested for inhibitory activity in adherence and aggregation inhibition assays. Overlapping, but not identical, subsets of monoclonal antibodies were found to inhibit adherence and aggregation, indicating that the interactions of P1 with salivary agglutinin which mediate these two phenomena are different. The localization of functional domains of P1 which may mediate the aggregation and adherence reactions is discussed.
DNA encoding the alanine-rich region (A-region) of the cell surface adhesin, P1, from Streptococcus mutans was subcloned and expressed as a fusion protein with the maltose-binding protein (MBP) of Escherichia coli. The A-region fusion protein was shown to competitively inhibit both adherence of S. mutans to salivary agglutinin-coated hydroxyapatite and fluid-phase agglutinin-mediated aggregation of this organism. MBP alone or an MBP-paramyosin fusion protein was not inhibitory. Proteolytic cleavage of the fusion protein into its component moieties, MBP and A-region, resulted in breakdown of the A-region into three main fragments. Western immunoblot analysis of calcium-dependent agglutinin binding to this preparation revealed binding specificity for a 28-kDa fragment. Thus, the A-region of P1 is an important domain which interacts directly with salivary agglutinin, and this interaction interferes with both the aggregation and the adherence mechanisms in vitro.
Previous studies have suggested that both secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and various nonimmunoglobulin salivary glycoproteins are capable of agglutinating a variety of bacteria. The present study was designed to compare the nature of the agglutinins for Streptococcus mutans and Salmonella typhimurium in parotid saliva and colostrum. S. mutans was aggregated by saliva and colostrum, whereas S. typhimurium was aggregated only by saliva as detected by a spectrophotometric method. The principal salivary agglutinin for both S. mutans and S. typhimurium was calcium dependent and could be desorbed in phosphate-buffered saline (pH 6.8). In contrast, the colostral agglutinin was calcium independent and not readily desorbed. The agglutinin activities of saliva and colostrum for S. mutans were additive, suggesting independent target sites on the bacterial surface. The agglutinin activity of colostrum was totally associated with sIgA as was suggested by blocking of the agglutinating activity with anti-alpha-chain serum and the absence of blocking with an antibody specific for salivary agglutinin. Interestingly, anti-alpha-chain serum removed all agglutinating activity from saliva, but not from the phosphate-buffered saline-desorbed agglutinin. Dialysis of parotid saliva against 0.1 M disodium EDTA eliminated the agglutinin blocking activity of anti-alpha-chain serum but not that of the antiagglutinin antibody. The ability of anti-alpha-chain serum to block agglutination of the EDTA-dialyzed saliva could be restored by the addition of calcium chloride, suggesting that sIgA and salivary agglutinin are associated through a calcium-mediated interaction. These results indicate that bacterial agglutinating activity of colostrum, as detected spectrophotometrically, is mediated by sIgA, and that of saliva is mainly dependent upon a calcium-dependent nonimmunoglobulin agglutinin. The agglutinating activities of sIgA and parotid agglutinin seem to be additive, and their calcium-dependent association may favor the enhancement of their respective activities.
A bacterial agglutinin specific for strains of Streptococcus mutans was isolated from human saliva. Physiochemical analyses showed the agglutinin to be a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 60,000. The agglutinin aggregated four of the eight strains of Streptococcus mutans tested but did not aggregate the strains of Streptococcus salivarius, Streptococcus sanguis, and Streptococcus mitis tested. Chemical modification of carbohydrate moieties of the agglutinin with sodium metaperiodate had no effect on aggregation, whereas modification of the polypeptide portion with trypsin abolished aggregating activity. A set of five murine hybridoma antibodies was employed to further analyze the agglutinin. Two carbohydrate-specific antibodies, directed against D-mannose and N-acetylgalactosamine moieties, respectively, failed to block agglutinin- or whole saliva-mediated aggregation of S. mutans cells. In contrast, two antibodies directed against pronase-sensitive antigenic sites blocked both agglutinin- and saliva-mediated aggregation of S. mutans cells. Western blot analysis with the agglutinin-specific hybridoma antibodies demonstrated the agglutinin in whole saliva and in artificial tooth pellicles formed on hydroxyapatite beads incubated with saliva. These results suggest that a 60-kilodalton glycoprotein of human saliva is a bacterial agglutinin with specificity for certain strains of S. mutans. They further suggest that aggregation is mediated by polypeptide rather than carbohydrate determinants of the glycoprotein.
Human saliva contains a high-molecular-weight glycoprotein (agglutinin) which binds to specific streptococci in a calcium-dependent reaction leading to the formation of bacterial aggregates. We report the cloning of a gene encoding a surface antigen from Streptococcus sanguis M5 and show that the expressed protein inhibits agglutinin-mediated aggregation and specifically binds the salivary agglutinin in a calcium-dependent fashion. Clones isolated from the immunological screening of S. sanguis M5 genomic libraries with polyclonal antibodies against whole cells were assayed for the ability to compete with S. sanguis for agglutinin. One clone, pSSP-5, expressed antigens of 165 and 130 kilodaltons (kDa) possessing this activity. A 3-kilobase-pair (kbp) insert fragment from this clone was used to screen a genomic library in lambda EMBL3 which resulted in the isolation of clone SSP-5A. This clone contained an insert of 17 kb and expressed proteins of 170 to 205 kDa that reacted with the anti-S. sanguis antibodies. Subcloning of a 5.3-kbp EcoRI-BamHI fragment from SSP-5A produced pEB-5, which expressed streptococcal components that were indistinguishable from SSP-5A. The streptococcal antigen was purified by gel permeation and ion exchange chromatography and shown to potently compete with S. sanguis M5 cells for agglutinin. The antigen also bound purified salivary agglutinin in the presence of 1 mM CaCl2. This binding was inhibited by EDTA. Both the SSP-5 antigen and a 205-kDa protein in surface protein extracts from S. sanguis M5 cross-reacted with antibodies directed against antigen B from S. mutans and SpaA from S. sobrinus 6715. These results indicate that a 205-kDa surface protein that is antigenically related to SpaA and antigen B is involved in the binding of salivary agglutinin to S. sanguis M5.
Initial attachment of the cariogenic Streptococcus mutans onto dental enamel is largely promoted by the adsorption of specific salivary proteins on enamel surface. Some phosphorylated salivary proteins were found to reduce S. mutans adhesion by competitively inhibiting the adsorption of S. mutans-binding salivary glycoproteins to hydroxyapatite (HA). The aim of this study was to develop antiadherence compounds for preventing dental biofilm development. We synthesized phosphorylated polyethylene glycol (PEG) derivatives and examined the possibility of surface pretreatment with them for preventing S. mutans adhesion in vitro and dental biofilm formation in vivo. Pretreatment of the HA surface with methacryloyloxydecyl phosphate (MDP)-PEG prior to saliva incubation hydrophilized the surface and thereby reduced salivary protein adsorption and saliva-promoted bacterial attachment to HA. However, when MDP-PEG was added to the saliva-pretreated HA (S-HA) surface, its inhibitory effect on bacterial binding was completely diminished. S. mutans adhesion onto S-HA was successfully reduced by treatment of the surface with pyrophosphate (PP), which desorbs salivary components from S-HA. Treatment of S-HA surfaces with MDP-PEG plus PP completely inhibited saliva-promoted S. mutans adhesion even when followed by additional saliva treatment. Finally, mouthwash with MDP-PEG plus PP prevented de novo biofilm development after thorough teeth cleaning in humans compared to either water or PP alone. We conclude that MDP-PEG plus PP has the potential for use as an antiadherence agent that prevents dental biofilm development.
The interaction between a surface protein antigen (PAc) of Streptococcus mutans and human salivary agglutinin was analyzed with a surface plasmon resonance biosensor. The major component sugars of the salivary agglutinin were galactose, fucose, mannose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, and N-acetylneuraminic acid. Binding of salivary agglutinin to PAc was calcium dependent and heat labile and required a pH greater than 5. Binding was significantly inhibited by N-acetylneuraminic acid and α2,6-linked sialic acid-specific lectin derived from Sambucus sieboldiana in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment of the salivary agglutinin with sialidase reduced the binding activity of the agglutinin to the PAc molecule. The agglutinin was dissociated into high-molecular-mass glycoprotein and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) components by electrophoretic fractionation in the presence of 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate and 1% 2-mercaptoethanol. Neither of the components separated by electrophoretic fractionation, high-molecular-mass glycoprotein or sIgA, bound to the PAc molecule. Furthermore, the high-molecular-mass glycoprotein strongly inhibited the binding of the native salivary complex to PAc. These results suggest that the complex formed by the high-molecular-mass salivary glycoprotein and sIgA is essential for the binding reaction and that the sialic acid residues of the complex play an important role in the interaction between the agglutinin and PAc of S. mutans.
Streptococcus mutans, the principal etiologic agent of dental caries in humans, possesses a variety of virulence traits that enable it to establish itself in the oral cavity and initiate disease. A 185-kDa cell surface-localized protein known variously as antigen I/II, antigen B, PAc, and P1 has been postulated to be a virulence factor in S. mutans. We showed previously that P1 expression is necessary for in vitro adherence of S. mutans to salivary agglutinin-coated hydroxyapatite as well as for fluid-phase aggregation. Since adherence of the organism is a necessary first step toward colonization of the tooth surface, we sought to determine what effect deletion of the gene for P1, spaP, has on the colonization and subsequent cariogenicity of this organism in vivo. Germ-free Fischer rats fed a diet containing 5% sucrose were infected with either S. mutans NG8 or an NG8-derived spaP mutant strain, PC3370, which had been constructed by allelic exchange mutagenesis. At 1-week intervals for 6 weeks after infection, total organisms recovered from mandibles were enumerated. At week 6, caries lesions also were scored. A significantly lower number of enamel and dentinal carious lesions was observed for the mutant-infected rats, although there was no difference between parent and mutant in the number of organisms recovered from teeth through 6 weeks postinfection. Coinfection of animals with both parent and mutant strains resulted in an increasing predominance of the mutant strain being recovered over time, suggesting that P1 is not a necessary prerequisite for colonization. These data do, however, suggest a role for P1 in the virulence of S. mutans, as reflected by a decrease in the cariogenicity of bacteria lacking this surface protein.
Streptococcus mutans is one of the best-known biofilm-forming organisms associated with humans. We investigated the role of the sortase gene (srtA) in monospecies biofilm formation and observed that inactivation of srtA caused a decrease in biofilm formation. Genes encoding three putative sortase-dependent proteins were also found to be up-regulated in biofilms versus planktonic cells and mutations in these genes resulted in reduced biofilm biomass.
Adherence of Streptococcus mutans to smooth surfaces has been attributed to the production of sucrose-derived d-glucans. However, several studies indicate that the bacterium will adhere in the absence of sucrose. The present data confirmed that S. mutans adherence to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite beads in the absence of sucrose is described by the Langmuir equation. The nature of the sucrose-independent adherence was studied with the Persea americana agglutinin as a selective adherence inhibitor. Pretreatment of the bacterium with P. americana agglutinin caused a 10-fold reduction in adherence, and the inhibition was not reversed with the addition of sucrose. Pretreatment of S. mutans with proteases also reduced adherence, regardless of the sucrose content, whereas periodate oxidation and glucanohydrolase treatment of the bacteria reduced sucrose-mediated adherence to the levels found for sucrose-independent adherence. The P. americana agglutinin, glucanohydrolase, and pepsin pretreatment of the cells did not eliminate sucrose-induced agglutination. Scanning electron microscopy showed that short streptococcal chains were bound to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite crystals in the sucrose-independent system, whereas the presence of sucrose caused larger bacterial clumps to be found. A two-reaction model of S. mutans adherence was developed from these data. It is proposed that one reaction is attachment to the tooth pellicle which is mediated by cell-surface proteins rather than glucans or teichoic acids. The other reaction is cellular accumulation mediated by sucrose-derived d-glucans and cell surface lectins. A series of sequential adherence experiments with P. americana agglutinin as a selective inhibitor provided presumptive evidence for the validity of our model of S. mutans adherence.
The agglutinin titers for three Streptococcus mutans serotypes (AHT, BHT, and 10449, representing serotypes a, b, and c, respectively) were measured in the saliva, tears, and serum of 19 human subjects. Naturally occurring S. mutans agglutinins were routinely present in all fluids tested in the absence of overt local stimulation by antigen. The immunoglobulin A nature of this secretory agglutinin activity was suggested by blocking with alpha heavy-chain-specific antiserum and by the demonstration of S. mutans-reactive immunoglobulin A in the saliva and tears by indirect immunofluorescence. This finding is consistent with stimulation and antigen commitment of immunoglobulin A precursor lymphocytes at remote sites and subsequent homing to the lacrimal system. The relationship of anti-AHT agglutinins to anti-10449 agglutinins differed among the body fluids tested. The tears had more agglutinins for strain AHT than for strain 10449, whereas the reverse was true for saliva and serum. A possible explanation is local antigen-driven expansion of AHT-reactive committed lymphocytes in the lacrimal tissues.
Many researchers have suggested that the role of glucan-mediated interactions in the adherence of Streptococcus mutans is restricted to accumulation of this cariogenic bacterium following its sucrose (i.e., glucan)-independent binding to saliva-coated tooth surfaces. However, the presence of enzymatically active glucosyltransferase in salivary pellicle suggests that glucans could also promote the initial adherence of S. mutans to the teeth. In the present study, the commonly used hydroxyapatite adherence assay was modified to include the incorporation of glucosyltransferase and the synthesis of glucans in situ on saliva-coated hydroxyapatite beads. Several laboratory strains and clinical isolates of S. mutans were examined for their ability to adhere to experimental pellicles, either with or without the prior formation of glucans in situ. Results showed that most strains of S. mutans bound stereospecifically to glucans synthesized in pellicle. Inhibition studies with various polysaccharides and fungal dextranase indicated that alpha 1,6-linked glucose residues were of primary importance in the glucan binding observed. Scanning electron microscopic analysis showed direct binding of S. mutans to hydroxyapatite surface-associated polysaccharide and revealed no evidence of trapping or cell-to-cell binding. S. mutans strains also attached to host-derived structures in experimental pellicles, and the data suggest that the bacterial adhesins which recognize salivary binding sites were distinct from glucan-binding adhesins. Furthermore, glucans formed in experimental pellicles appeared to mask the host-derived components. These results support the concept that glucans synthesized in salivary pellicle can promote the selective adherence of the cariogenic streptococci which colonize human teeth.
We examined the effects of human whole salivary supernatant and parotid fluid on glucose uptake by Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguis, Streptococcus mitis, Actinomyces viscosus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli. The following three effects of saliva were observed: (i) inhibition of glucose uptake (S. mutans, S. sanguis), (ii) promotion of a transient, rapid (0 to 30 s) burst of glucose uptake (S. mutans, S. sanguis), and (iii) enhancement of glucose uptake (S. mitis, A. viscosus, S. aureus, E. coli). We observed no differences between the effects of whole salivary supernatant and the effects of parotid fluid. Heat treatment (80°C, 10 min) of saliva or the addition of dithiothreitol abolished inhibition of glucose uptake. Supplementation of saliva with H2O2 potentiated inhibition of glucose uptake. S. mitis and A. viscosus, which were stimulated by saliva alone, were inhibited by H2O2-supplemented saliva; 50% inhibition of glucose uptake by S. mutans and S. mitis required ca. 10 μM H2O2 in 50% (vol/vol) saliva. Loss of the inhibitory action of saliva occurred at about 5% (vol/vol) saliva. Supplementation of saliva dilutions with SCN− and H2O2 extended the inhibitory activity to solutions containing ca. 0.2% (vol/vol) saliva. We suggest that the salivary lactoperoxidase-SCN−-H2O2 system is responsible for the inhibitory activity of saliva reported here. Furthermore, we concluded that lactoperoxidase and SCN− are present in saliva specimens in concentrations that exceed minimal inhibitory levels by factors of ca. 500 and 10 to 20, respectively. The resistance of A. viscosus, S. aureus, and E. coli to the inhibitory potential of saliva alone was probably due to the production of catalase by these organisms. The resistance of S. mitis may have been due to special effects of saliva on H2O2 accumulation by this organism compared with S. mutans and S. sanguis. The basis of saliva-dependent enhancement of glucose uptake and the basis of promotion of a transient, rapid burst of glucose uptake are unknown. The role of the salivary lactoperoxidase-SCN−-H2O2 system in the oral microbial ecosystem is discussed.
Adherence of mutans streptococci to strains of Actinomyces viscosus, Streptococcus sanguis, and Streptococcus mitis immobilized on a nitrocellulose membrane was measured. Strains of Streptococcus mutans, S. sobrinus, and S. rattus bound in a lactose-independent manner to a variety of the actinomyces and streptococci. Most of these reactions could proceed in the presence of whole saliva although adherence of S. rattus BHT to the streptococci was inhibited by salivary molecules. In contrast, adherence of S. mutans 10449 and KPSK2 to A. viscosus, S. sanguis, and S. mitis was enhanced by salivary molecules. S. mutans KPSK2, S. sobrinus OMZ 176, and S. rattus FA-1 binding to A. viscosus NC3 and S. sanguis G9B exhibited saturation kinetics. Adherence to A. viscosus NC3 was of a higher avidity than adherence to S. sanguis G9B. Attachment of S. mutans KPSK2 to S. sanguis G9B and of S. mutans OMZ 176 to A. viscosus NC3 and S. sanguis G9B was inhibited by heat treatment of the mutans streptococci. Attachment of S. mutans KPSK2 to A. viscosus NC3 and of S. rattus FA-1 to A. viscosus NC3 and S. sanguis G9B was unaffected by heat. These observations suggest that the mutans streptococci can adhere to a variety of early plaque bacteria by several distinct mechanisms. Such interactions may be important in the colonization of tooth surfaces by the mutans streptococci.
Streptococcus mutans plays an important role in biofilm formation on the tooth surface and is the primary causative agent of dental caries. The binding of S. mutans to the salivary pellicle is of considerable etiologic significance and is important in biofilm development. Recently, we produced NOD/SCID.e2f1−/− mice that show hyposalivation, lower salivary antibody, and an extended life span compared to the parent strain: NOD.e2f1−/−. In this study we used NOD/SCID.e2f1−/− 4 or 6 mice to determine the roles of several salivary components in S. mutans colonization in vivo. S. mutans colonization in NOD/SCID.e2f1−/− mice was significantly increased when mice were pre-treated with human saliva or commercial salivary components. Interestingly, pre-treatment with secretory IgA (sIgA) at physiological concentrations promoted significant colonization of S. mutans compared with sIgA at higher concentrations, or with human saliva or other components. Our data suggest the principal effects of specific sIgA on S. mutans occur during S. mutans colonization, where the appropriate concentration of specific sIgA may serve as an anti-microbial agent, agglutinin, or an adherence receptor to surface antigens. Further, specific sIgA supported biofilm formation when the mice were supplied 1% sucrose water and a non-sucrose diet. The data suggests that there are multiple effects exerted by sIgA in S. mutans colonization, with synergistic effects evident under the condition of sIgA and limited nutrients on colonization in NOD/SCID.e2f1−/− mice. This is a new animal model that can be used to assess prevention methods for dental biofilm-dependent diseases such as dental caries.
The saliva proteome includes host defense factors and specific bacterial-binding proteins that modulate microbial growth and colonization of tooth surface in the oral cavity. A multidimensional mass spectrometry approach identified the major host-derived salivary proteins which interacted with Streptococcus mutans (strain UA159), the primary microorganism associated with the pathogenesis of dental caries. Two abundant host proteins were found to tightly bind to S. mutans cells, common salivary protein-1 (CSP-1) and deleted in malignant brain tumor 1 (DMBT1, also known as salivary agglutinin or gp340). In contrast to gp340, limited functional information is available on CSP-1. The sequence of CSP-1 shares 38.1% similarity with rat CSP-1. Recombinant CSP-1 (rCSP-1) protein did not cause aggregation of S. mutans cells and was devoid of any significant biocidal activity (2.5 to 10 μg/ml). However, S. mutans cells exposed to rCSP-1 (10 μg/ml) in saliva displayed enhanced adherence to experimental salivary pellicle and to glucans in the pellicle formed on hydroxyapatite surfaces. Thus, our data demonstrate that the host salivary protein CSP-1 binds to S. mutans cells and may influence the initial colonization of this pathogenic bacterium onto tooth surface.
Common Salivary Protein-1; Human Saliva; Saliva-Microbial Interaction; Affinity and Lectin Chromatography; Mass Spectrometry
Oxygen has a potent influence on the expression of genes and the activity of physiological and biochemical pathways in bacteria. We have found that oxygen significantly altered virulence-related phenotypic properties of Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiological agent of human dental caries. Transport of glucose, fructose, or mannose by the sugar:phosphotransferase system was significantly enhanced by growth under aerobic conditions, whereas aeration caused an extended lag phase and slower growth of S. mutans in medium containing glucose, fructose, or mannose as the carbohydrate source. Aeration resulted in a decrease in the glycolytic rate and enhanced the production of intracellular storage polysaccharides. Although aeration decreased the acid tolerance of S. mutans, aerobically grown cells had higher F-ATPase activity. Aeration altered biofilm architecture but did not change the ability of S. mutans to interact with salivary agglutinin. Growth in air resulted in enhanced cell-associated glucosyltransferase (Gtf) activity at the expense of cell-free Gtf activity. These results demonstrate that S. mutans can dramatically alter its pathogenic potential in response to exposure to oxygen, suggesting that the phenotype of the organism may be highly variable in the human oral cavity depending on the maturity of the dental plaque biofilm.
To evaluate the inhibitory effect of ursolic acid (UA)-containing composites on Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) biofilm.
Materials and Methods
Composite resins with five different concentrations (0.04, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, and 1.0 wt%) of UA (U6753, Sigma Aldrich) were prepared, and their flexural strengths were measured according to ISO 4049. To evaluate the effect of carbohydrate source on biofilm formation, either glucose or sucrose was used as a nutrient source, and to investigate the effect of saliva treatment, the specimen were treated with either unstimulated whole saliva or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). For biofilm assay, composite disks were transferred to S. mutans suspension and incubated for 24 hr. Afterwards, the specimens were rinsed with PBS and sonicated. The colony forming units (CFU) of the disrupted biofilm cultures were enumerated. For growth inhibition test, the composites were placed on a polystyrene well cluster, and S. mutans suspension was inoculated. The optical density at 600 nm (OD600) was recorded by Infinite F200 pro apparatus (TECAN). One-way ANOVA and two-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni correction were used for the data analyses.
The flexural strength values did not show significant difference at any concentration (p > 0.01). In biofilm assay, the CFU score decreased as the concentration of UA increased. The influence of saliva pretreatment was conflicting. The sucrose groups exhibited higher CFU score than glucose group (p < 0.05). In bacterial growth inhibition test, all experimental groups containing UA resulted in complete inhibition.
Within the limitations of the experiments, UA included in the composite showed inhibitory effect on S. mutans biofilm formation and growth.
Antibacterial composite; Biofilm; Streptococcus mutans; Ursolic acid
Human parotid agglutinins from three individuals were isolated by adsorption to and desorption from strains of Streptococcus mutans belonging to serotypes a, b, c, d, and e and strains of Lactobacillus casei, Actinomyces viscosus, and Streptococcus sanguis. The desorption was achieved by suspending centrifuged saliva-coated microorganisms in 10 mM phosphate buffer (pH 6.8) containing 0.154 M sodium chloride. After another centrifugation, agglutinin activity was recovered in the supernatants. The L. casei strain was not agglutinated by any of the agglutinin extracts or by saliva, but all the other strains were agglutinated to a variable extent. However, all strains, including the nonagglutinating L. casei strain, adsorbed and desorbed agglutinins active for other strains. The agglutinin extracts from S. mutans serotype c, S. sanguis, and A. viscosus were purified and characterized by electrophoretic and immunological techniques. The purified preparations were positively stained for protein and carbohydrate, and the molecular weights were estimated to be 440,000. All agglutinin extracts needed calcium in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 mM to be active, and for a single strain, all agglutinins gave the same degree of agglutination, indicating that the isolated agglutinins may be of the same molecular species, a hypothesis that was also confirmed by the preliminary characterization of the purified agglutinins. This type of agglutinin, which seems to exert its activity among various bacterial species, could be important in mediating bacterial coaggregation and thus may add to the effect of specific agglutinins in the clearance of bacteria from the human mouth.
Surface proteins of Streptococcus mutans have been reported to be released into the culture filtrate at concentrations that vary with the growth conditions. The reason for this is not clear. The present study attempts to investigate the mechanism of the protein release. The results showed that whole cells and raffinose-stabilized protoplasts of S. mutans NG8, when incubated in buffers, were capable of releasing their surface proteins in a pH-dependent manner with optimal release at pH 5 to 6. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that the released proteins were very complex. Two proteins, adhesin P1, which has been previously shown to interact with a human salivary agglutinin, and glucosyltransferase have been identified among the released proteins. The release of adhesin P1 and other proteins was found to be inhibited by heat, Cu2+,Zn2+, and thiol-blocking reagents. The inhibition by heat and Cu2+ was irreversible, whereas that by the thiol-blocking reagents was reversible. EDTA, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, and N-p-tosyl-L-lysyl-chloromethyl ketone had no effect on the release of P1, indicating that the release was probably not due to proteolytic activity. Adhesin P1 from Cu(2+)-inactivated S. mutans NG8 protoplasts could be released by mixing with fresh whole cells and protoplasts, but not the culture filtrate, of a P1-negative mutant of NG8, suggesting that the enzyme is located on the cell surface. This P1-releasing activity was also detected in two other strains of S. mutans and one strain each of S. gordonii, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae, and S. pyogenes. The biological role(s) of this enzyme activity remains to be determined. However, owing to its ability to release virulent surface proteins from the cell, it may play an important role in cell surface modulation among the pathogenic streptococci.
The oral cavity is colonized by microorganisms growing in biofilms in which interspecies interactions take place. Streptococcus mutans grows in biofilms on enamel surfaces and is considered one of the main etiological agents of human dental caries. Candida albicans is also commonly found in the human oral cavity, where it interacts with S. mutans. C. albicans is a polymorphic fungus, and the yeast-to-hypha transition is involved in virulence and biofilm formation. The aim of this study was to investigate interkingdom communication between C. albicans and S. mutans based on the production of secreted molecules. S. mutans UA159 inhibited C. albicans germ tube (GT) formation in cocultures even when physically separated from C. albicans. Only S. mutans spent medium collected in the early exponential phase (4-h-old cultures) inhibited the GT formation of C. albicans. During this phase, S. mutans UA159 produces a quorum-sensing molecule, competence-stimulating peptide (CSP). The role of CSP in inhibiting GT formation was confirmed by using synthetic CSP and a comC deletion strain of S. mutans UA159, which lacks the ability to produce CSP. Other S. mutans strains and other Streptococcus spp. also inhibited GT formation but to different extents, possibly reflecting differences in CSP amino acid sequences among Streptococcus spp. or differences in CSP accumulation in the media. In conclusion, CSP, an S. mutans quorum-sensing molecule secreted during the early stages of growth, inhibits the C. albicans morphological switch.
Adherence of radiolabeled Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguis to saliva-treated glass surfaces was studied under conditions which minimized bacteria-glass interactions. Treatment of glass with an alkylsilane solution decreased nonspecific bacterial adherence and enhanced adsorption of radiolabeled salivary components to these surfaces. Addition of Triton X-100 to the bacterial suspensions also reduced nonspecific adherence to siliconized glass, but did not affect adherence to salivary components attached to siliconized glass. Calcium stimulated S. mutans adherence to saliva-free glass, but inhibited adherence to saliva-treated glass. S. sanguis adherence to either saliva-free or saliva-treated glass was inhibited slightly at high calcium ion concentrations. Adherence of streptococci to saliva-treated glass exhibited saturation kinetics, and the numbers of binding sites on the experimental salivary pellicle and the affinity constants for bacteria-saliva attachment were determined. Preincubation of the streptococci with whole saliva decreased their capacity to adhere to saliva-treated glass, but not to saliva-free glass. Bacteria adherent to saliva-treated glass surfaces were readily desorbed by washing with saliva. The addition of homologous antisera, ammonium sulfate-precipitated immunoglobulins, or Fab fragments to the bacterial suspensions inhibited cell adherence to saliva-treated glass.
SspA and SspB (antigen I/II family proteins) can bind Streptococcus gordonii to other oral bacteria and also to salivary agglutinin glycoprotein, a constituent of the salivary film or pellicle that coats the tooth. To learn if SspA and SspB are essential for adhesion and initial biofilm formation on teeth, S. gordonii DL1 was incubated with saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (sHA) for 2 h in Todd-Hewitt broth with 20% saliva to develop initial biofilms. Sessile cells attached to sHA, surrounding planktonic cells, and free-growing cells were recovered separately. Free-growing cells expressed more sspA-specific mRNA and sspB-specific mRNA than sessile cells. Free-growing cells expressed the same levels of sspA and sspB as planktonic cells. Surprisingly, an SspA− SspB− mutant strain showed 2.2-fold greater biofilm formation on sHA than wild-type S. gordonii DL1. To explain this observation, we tested the hypothesis that inactivation of sspA and sspB genes altered the expression of other adhesin genes during initial biofilm formation in vitro. When compared to wild-type cells, expression of scaA and abpB was significantly up-regulated in the SspA− SspB− strain in sessile, planktonic, and free-growing cells. Consistent with this finding, ScaA antigen was also overexpressed in planktonic and free-growing SspA− SspB− cells compared to the wild type. SspA/B adhesins, therefore, were strongly suggested to be involved in the regulation of multiple adhesin genes.