Send to

Choose Destination
J Microbiol Methods. 2002 Apr;49(2):147-56.

Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis of Porphyromonas gingivalis gene expression in vivo.

Author information

BioMaterials Technology Center, 3M Company, St. Paul, MN, USA.


An etiological relationship between periodontitis, a significant oral health problem, and the anaerobe Porphyromonas gingivalis may be related to the expression of a variety of putative virulence factors. The objective of the experiments described here was to develop a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) method to examine P. gingivalis gene expression in human dental plaque from periodontitis subjects. PCR primers and probes for six target genes representing putative virulence factors were chosen and evaluated in vitro for specificity. A potential cross-reactivity level of only 10 copies/10(7) whole genomic equivalents was occasionally observed with non-P. gingivalis microbes. P. gingivalis cells stressed in vitro by a 5 degrees C temperature increase showed a rapid rise in the mRNA associated with the molecular chaperons (htpG, dnaK, groEL), SOD (sodA) and gingipain (rgp-1) genes. We examined the stability of bacterial RNA in plaque specimens and found no significant difference in the amount of RNA obtained before or after storage 3 months in a stabilizing buffer (p=0.786, t-test). Sixty-five percent of plaque samples obtained from two clinical locations contained P. gingivalis; there was a mean level of gene expression (fold increase) for all samples tested for groEL, dnaK, htpG, sodA, PG1431 and rgp-1 of 0.84+/-2.03 to 7.85+/-10.0. ANOVA showed that the levels of stress gene transcription for dnaK and htpG were significantly elevated (p<0.05) at diseased sites; groEL gene transcription approached statistically significant elevation (p=0.059). We found correlations between probing depth and increased transcription of groEL, htpG and rgp-1 and between attachment loss and htpG. When sorted by disease status, we detected correlations between disease status and elevated expression of dnaK and htpG.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center