Send to

Choose Destination
Platelets. 2002 Feb;13(1):21-30.

Aggregation of human platelets by gingipain-R from Porphyromonas gingivalis cells and membrane vesicles.

Author information

Department of Restorative Dentistry, Temple University School of Dentistry, 3223 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19128, USA.


The hypothesis that there is an association between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease suggests new lines of research on the mechanism whereby oral bacteria might exert systemic effects. This study was conducted to ascertain and quantitate the effect of Porphyromonas gingivalis on human platelets in vitro. A second related objective was to purify and identify the aggregating vector. Aggregation was measured by platelet turbidometry and gingipain-R was purified from P. gingivalis membrane vesicles by Sepharose 2B and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The in vitro aggregation of platelets requires that at least 1.0 x 10(4) cells be stirred with 1.35 x 10(8) platelets. The specific activity is substantially increased in the membrane vesicles that are shed by this bacterium. Aggregability was due to gingipain-R activity, a potent cysteine protease that was found to be highly concentrated in the membrane vesicle fraction. The enzyme was purified 18-fold in high yield from the membrane vesicles, and consists of two noncovalently linked proteins that migrate at 49 and 44 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Aggregation of platelets by gingipain-R was shown to be dose-dependent, and inhibited by leupeptin and arginine, but not by anti-thrombin III. This is the first report enumerating the specific number of cells and lowest concentration of membrane vesicles necessary to evoke a full human platelet response, and the first report to assign this activity to gingipain-R.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center