Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Infect Immun. 2001 Mar;69(3):1402-8.

Salivary histatin 5 is an inhibitor of both host and bacterial enzymes implicated in periodontal disease.

Author information

Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2392, USA.


One of the salient features of periodontitis and gingivitis is the increase in the levels of bacterial and host-derived proteolytic enzymes in oral inflammatory exudates. This study evaluated the potential of histatin 5, a 24-residue histidine-rich salivary antimicrobial protein, to inhibit these enzymes. Using biotinylated gelatin as a substrate, histatin 5 was found to inhibit the activity of the host matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of 0.57 and 0.25 microM, respectively. To localize the domain responsible for this inhibition, three peptides containing different regions of histatin 5 were synthesized and tested as inhibitors of MMP-9. Peptides comprising residues 1 to 14 and residues 4 to 15 of histatin 5 showed much lower inhibitory activities (IC50, 21.4 and 20.5 microM, respectively), while a peptide comprising residues 9 to 22 showed identical activity to histatin 5 against MMP-9. These results point to a functional domain localized in the C-terminal part of histatin 5. To evaluate the effect of histatin 5 on bacterial proteases, a detailed characterization of histatin 5 inhibition of gingipains from Porphyromonas gingivalis was carried out using purified Arg- and Lys-specific enzymes. Kinetic analysis of the inhibition of the Arg-gingipain revealed that histatin 5 is a competitive inhibitor, affecting only the Km with a K(i) of 15 microM. In contrast, inhibition of Lys-gingipain affected both the Km and Vmax, suggesting that both competitive and noncompetitive competitive processes underlie this inhibition. The inhibitory activity of histatin 5 against host and bacterial proteases at physiological concentrations points to a new potential biological function of histatin in the oral cavity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center