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1.  Bactericidal activities of synthetic human leukocyte cathepsin G-derived antibiotic peptides and congeners against Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga sputigena. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1993;37(12):2710-2715.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. are gram-negative bacteria implicated in the etiology of periodontal disease (particularly in individuals with neutrophil defects) and life-threatening systemic infections. They are resistant to many antibiotics of microbial origin but are sensitive to the nonoxidative microbicidal action of neutrophils. These organisms are susceptible to the microbicidal effect of cathepsin G but are killed by two distinct mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to assess their sensitivity to the antibiotic effects of IIGGR and HPQYNQR, antimicrobial peptides derived from human neutrophil cathepsin G. The efficacies of the synthetic peptides IIGGR and HPQYNQR were tested by single-dose screening, dose-response, and kinetic assays against three representative strains (each) of A. actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. and one strain of Eikenella corrodens. Strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans were sensitive to IIGGR and HPQYNQR at equal concentrations (wt/vol), whereas strains of Capnocytophaga and E. corrodens were more sensitive to IIGGR than to HPQYNQR. These differential antibiotic effects occurred over both time and dose ranges too narrow to be of therapeutic significance but are consistent with the premise that cathepsin G kills these oral bacteria by two distinct mechanisms. Except for IVGGR, congeners of IIGGR, including AIGGR, IAGGR, IIAGR, IIGAR, IIGGA, IQGGR, ILGGR, and I-norleucyl-GGR (InLGGR), were microbicidal at 500 micrograms/ml. IIGGR-amide exhibited no antibiotic activity. The D-enantiomer of IIGGR, DIDIGGDR, was as potent as IIGGR itself. APQYNQR exhibited antibiotic activity but somewhat less than HPQYNQR. We conclude that charge distribution, but not chirality or net charge, is an important determinant in the antibiotic efficacy of IIGGR. Moreover, peptide antibiotics derived from cathepsin G may have therapeutic value against periodontal gram-negative, facultative bacteria.
PMCID: PMC192786  PMID: 8109940
2.  Human neutrophil azurocidin synergizes with leukocyte elastase and cathepsin G in the killing of Capnocytophaga sputigena. 
Infection and Immunity  1992;60(11):4973-4975.
Azurocidin was purified in the presence of phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride. Electrophoresis revealed at least seven species which exhibited N-terminal sequences consistent with azurocidin. Azurocidin exhibited no bactericidal activity against Capnocytophaga sputigena or other oral bacteria but synergized the bactericidal activity of enzymatically active elastase. Azurocidin also interacted synergistically with cathepsin G.
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PMCID: PMC258259  PMID: 1399008
3.  Differential killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. by human neutrophil granule components. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(10):3760-3767.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether granule fractions of human neutrophils differentially kill Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. Granule extracts were subjected to gel filtration, and seven fractions (designated A through G) were obtained. Under aerobic conditions at pH 7.0, representative strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans were killed by fraction D and variably by fraction B. In contrast, the Capnocytophaga spp. were killed by fractions C, D, F, and G. Fractions A (containing lactoferrin and myeloperoxidase) and E (containing lysozyme) exerted little bactericidal activity under these conditions. Anaerobiosis had little effect on the bactericidal activity of fractions D and F but inhibited that of fractions B and C. Electrophoresis, zymography, determination of amino acid composition, and N-terminal sequence analysis revealed that fraction C contained elastase, proteinase 3, and azurocidin. Fraction D contained lysozyme, elastase, and cathepsin G. Subfractions of C and D containing elastase (subfraction C4), a mixture of elastase and azurocidin (subfraction C5), and cathepsin G (subfraction D9) were found to be bactericidal. The bactericidal effects of fraction D and subfraction D9 against A. actinomycetemcomitans was not inhibited by heat inactivation, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, or N-benzyloxycarbonylglycylleucylphenylalanylchloromethyl ketone. We conclude that (i) A. actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. were sensitive to the bactericidal effects of different neutrophil granule components, (ii) both were sensitive to the bactericidal effects of neutral serine proteases, and (iii) the killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans by cathepsin G-containing fractions was independent of oxygen and neutral serine protease activity.
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PMCID: PMC258948  PMID: 1894375
4.  In vitro killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. by human neutrophil cathepsin G and elastase. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(9):3015-3020.
The purpose of this study was to compare the killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans with that of Capnocytophaga spp. by purified cathepsin G and elastase in vitro. Both were sensitive to killing by purified cathepsin G, but only the Capnocytophaga spp. were killed by elastase. Killing by cathepsin G exhibited logarithmic kinetics, was enhanced slightly by alkaline pH, and was enhanced greatly under hypotonic conditions. Treatment of cathepsin G with diisopropyl fluorophosphate significantly reduced its bactericidal activity against Capnocytophaga spp. but not against Escherichia coli or A. actinomycetemcomitans. The bactericidal effects of cathepsin G against Capnocytophaga sputigena and A. actinomycetemcomitans were inhibited by alpha-1-antichymotrypsin, alpha-1-antitrypsin, and alpha-2-macroglobulin but not by bovine serum albumin. We conclude that (i) cathepsin G kills Capnocytophaga spp. and A. actinomycetemcomitans, (ii) elastase kills Capnocytophaga spp., (iii) the bactericidal activity of cathepsin G is enzyme dependent against Capnocytophaga spp. and enzyme independent against A. actinomycetemcomitans, and (iv) natural plasma antiproteases may control both enzyme-dependent and enzyme-independent bactericidal activities of cathepsin G.
PMCID: PMC258128  PMID: 1879926
5.  In vitro killing of oral Capnocytophaga by granule fractions of human neutrophils is associated with cathepsin G activity. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1991;87(5):1585-1593.
The Capnocytophaga are inhabitants of the hypoxic human gingival crevice that are normally prevented by neutrophils from causing periodontal and systemic infection. To identify potential nonoxidative bactericidal mechanisms against Capnocytophaga within human neutrophils, gel filtration chromatography was used to fractionate neutrophil granule extracts. Seven granule fractions, designated A through G, were obtained. The Capnocytophaga were most sensitive to killing by fraction D. Fraction D exhibited substantial bactericidal activity under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The bactericidal activity associated with ion-exchange subfractions D8-D11, which contained primarily cathepsin G as assessed by enzymatic activity, amino acid composition, and NH2-terminal sequence. Heat-inactivation, diisopropylfluorophosphate, PMSF, and N-benzyloxycarbonylglycylleucylphenylalanyl-chloromethyl ketone inhibited bactericidal activity against Capnocytophaga sputigena but not Escherichia coli. We conclude that (a) human neutrophil cathepsin G is an important antimicrobial system against the Capnocytophaga, (b) the bactericidal activity of cathepsin G against Capnocytophaga is oxygen independent, and (c) an intact enzyme active site is involved in the killing of C. sputigena but not E. coli. We suggest that human neutrophil cathepsin G is an important antimicrobial system against certain oral bacteria and that cathepsin G kills bacteria by two distinct mechanisms.
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PMCID: PMC295241  PMID: 2022730
6.  In vitro sensitivity of oral, gram-negative, facultative bacteria to the bactericidal activity of human neutrophil defensins. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(12):3934-3940.
Neutrophils play a major role in defending the periodontium against infection by oral, gram-negative, facultative bacteria, such as Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Eikenella corrodens, and Capnocytophaga spp. We examined the sensitivity of these bacteria to a mixture of low-molecular-weight peptides and highly purified individual defensin peptides (HNP-1, HNP-2, and HNP-3) isolated from human neutrophils. Whereas the Capnocytophaga spp. strains were killed significantly by the mixed human neutrophil peptides, the A. actinomycetemcomitans and E. corrodens strains were resistant. Killing was attributable to the defensins. The bactericidal activities of purified defensins HNP-1 and HNP-2 were equal, and both of these activities were greater than HNP-3 activity against strains of Capnocytophaga sputigena and Capnocytophaga gingivalis. The strain of Capnocytophaga ochracea was more sensitive to defensin-mediated bactericidal activity than either C. sputigena or C. gingivalis was. The three human defensins were equipotent in killing C. ochracea. C. ochracea was killed under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and over a broad pH range. Killing was most effective under hypotonic conditions but also occurred at physiologic salt concentrations. We concluded that Capnocytophaga spp. are sensitive to oxygen-independent killing by human defensins. Additional studies will be required to identify other components that may equip human neutrophils to kill A. actinomycetemcomitans, E. corrodens, and other oral gram-negative bacteria.
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PMCID: PMC313758  PMID: 2254020
7.  Role of high-avidity binding of human neutrophil myeloperoxidase in the killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. 
Infection and Immunity  1987;55(5):1029-1036.
The binding of the neutrophil enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) to microbial surfaces is believed to be the first step in its microbicidal activity. The MPO-H2O2-Cl- system is responsible for most oxidative killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by human neutrophils. There appear to be three forms of MPO (MPO I, II, and III), all of which can kill this organism in the presence of H2O2 and chloride. In this study, we characterized the binding of native human neutrophil MPO to A. actinomycetemcomitans by an elution procedure dependent on the cationic detergent cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. Binding of native MPO was rapid and reached apparent equilibrium within 1 min. A proportion of binding under equilibrium conditions was saturable and highly avid, with a capacity of 4,500 sites per cell and a dissociation constant of 7.9 X 10(-10) M. At equal protein concentrations, more MPO III bound than MPO II, and more MPO II bound than MPO I. The high-avidity interaction was inhibitable with yeast mannan and with the serotype-defining mannan of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Binding was also partially reversible with yeast mannan. MPO bound to the high-avidity sites did not oxidize guaiacol but oxidized chloride, as detected by the chlorination of taurine. MPO bound to the high-avidity sites was incapable of killing A. actinomycetemcomitans alone in the presence of H2O2 and Cl-, but potentiated killing when sufficient additional MPO was provided. The killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans by the MPO-H2O2-Cl- system was inhibited by yeast mannan and a serotype-defining mannan of A. actinomycetemcomitans. We conclude that high-avidity binding of MPO to the surface of A. actinomycetemcomitans is a mannan-specific interaction and that MPO bound to the high-avidity sites is essential but not alone sufficient to kill A. actinomycetemcomitans.
PMCID: PMC260463  PMID: 3032796
8.  Oxidative and nonoxidative killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by human neutrophils. 
Infection and Immunity  1986;53(1):154-160.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a facultative gram-negative microorganism which has been implicated as an etiologic agent in localized juvenile periodontitis and in subacute bacterial endocarditis and abscesses. Although resistant to serum bactericidal action and to oxidant injury mediated by superoxide anion (O2-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), this organism is sensitive to killing by the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-chloride system (K.T. Miyasaki, M.E. Wilson, and R.J. Genco, Infect. Immun. 53:161-165, 1986). In this study, we examined the sensitivity of A. actinomycetemcomitans to killing by intact neutrophils under aerobic conditions, under anaerobic conditions, and under aerobic conditions in the presence of the heme-protein inhibitor sodium cyanide. Intact neutrophils killed opsonized A. actinomycetemcomitans under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and the kinetics of these reactions indicated that both oxidative and nonoxidative mechanisms were operative. Oxidative mechanisms contributed significantly, and most of the killing attributable to oxidative mechanisms was inhibited by sodium cyanide, which suggested that the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-chloride system participated in the oxidative process. We conclude that human neutrophils are capable of killing A. actinomycetemcomitans by both oxygen-dependent and oxygen-independent pathways, and that most oxygen-dependent killing requires myeloperoxidase activity.
PMCID: PMC260090  PMID: 3013778
9.  Killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by the human neutrophil myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-chloride system. 
Infection and Immunity  1986;53(1):161-165.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a facultative gram-negative coccobacillus associated with periodontal disease and nonoral infections. This organism is resistant to serum bactericidal mechanisms but is nevertheless killed by human neutrophils under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Most of the killing attributable to oxidative mechanisms is inhibited by sodium cyanide, which suggests that the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-chloride (MPO-H2O2-Cl-) system may be a key factor in the oxidative killing process. In this report, we examine whether the isolated MPO-H2O2-Cl- system is bactericidal against A. actinomycetemcomitans. We found that three major chromatographic forms of MPO were capable of killing A. actinomycetemcomitans at sublethal concentrations of H2O2 and that both catalase-positive and catalase-negative strains of this organism were sensitive to killing by the MPO-H2O2-Cl- system. We conclude that the isolated MPO-H2O2-Cl- system is bactericidal for A. actinomycetemcomitans independent of other neutrophil granule constituents and may be an important component of the oxygen-dependent bactericidal activity of the neutrophil with respect to this periodontopathic organism.
PMCID: PMC260091  PMID: 3013779
10.  Failure of vancomycin prophylaxis and treatment for Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans endocarditis. 
Reported is a case of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans endocarditis which developed after dental prophylaxis with vancomycin and erythromycin. In vitro results indicated that this isolate and 20 additional isolates were resistant to vancomycin and that potentially useful bactericidal antibiotics for the prophylaxis and treatment of A. actinomycetemcomitans infections included gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, cefotaxime, and ciprofloxacin.
PMCID: PMC180469  PMID: 3707114
11.  Resistance of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and differential susceptibility of oral Haemophilus species to the bactericidal effects of hydrogen peroxide. 
Infection and Immunity  1984;46(3):644-648.
We compared the sensitivities of oral and nonoral isolates of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Haemophilus segnis, H. aphrophilus, and H. paraphrophilus to the bactericidal action of reagent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Susceptibility to a range of H2O2 concentrations (10(-6) to 10(-3) M) was assessed by incubating bacterial suspensions for 1 h at 37 degrees C in the presence of H2O2 and plating on chocolate agar to determine the concentration of H2O2 that would produce a 50% reduction in CFU (50% lethal dose). As a group, A. actinomycetemcomitans was more resistant to H2O2 than the oral haemophili, and H. aphrophilus was much more sensitive than all other organisms tested. The range of 50% lethal dose values for A. actinomycetemcomitans was between 8.5 X 10(-5) and 10(-3) M H2O2 or above. In contrast, H. aphrophilus exhibited 50% lethal dose values from below 1 X 10(-6) to 3.4 X 10(-4) M H2O2. The resistance of A. actinomycetemcomitans to H2O2 may be sufficient to protect these organisms from direct H2O2-mediated killing by host phagocytes.
PMCID: PMC261590  PMID: 6500706
12.  Purification and characterization of the serotype c antigen from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. 
Infection and Immunity  1984;44(1):22-27.
The serotype c antigen from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans was purified with fractional ethanol precipitation of cell-free culture supernatant, sequential ion-exchange chromatography, and gel filtration chromatography. The preparation obtained demonstrated a single precipitin line in immunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis, and crossed immunoelectrophoresis when rabbit antisera to serotype c whole bacterial cells were used. No immunological reaction was detected with antisera to serotype c lipopolysaccharide, indicating that lipopolysaccharide was not present in the preparation. The serotype c antigen was composed of 95% carbohydrate, 2% protein, and 3.1% phosphate. Gas chromatographic analysis of the antigen obtained from growth in either complex or chemically defined media revealed that the carbohydrate constituent was composed of 84 to 90.1% mannose, 4.8 to 16% glucose, 1.9% N-acetylglucosamine, 1.4% fucose, and 0.2% galactose. The present data suggest that A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype c antigen is predominantly a mannose-containing carbohydrate suggestive of a mannan.
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PMCID: PMC263456  PMID: 6423542

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