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Microbiol Immunol. 2003;47(3):213-5.

The role of glucan-binding proteins in the cariogenicity of Streptococcus mutans.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Streptococcus mutans produces glucan-binding proteins (Gbps), which appear to contribute to the virulence of S. mutans. GbpA and GbpC genes were inactivated by the insertion of antibiotic-resistant genes into each gbp gene of S. mutans MT8148 to generate Gbp-defective mutants. Sucrose dependent adherences of the GbpA- and GbpC-defective mutants were found to be significantly lower than those of their parent strains MT8148. Caries inducing activity of the mutants in rats was significantly lower than that of strain MT8148R (streptomycin-resistant strain of MT8148). These results suggest that GbpA and GbpC participate in cellular adherence to tooth surfaces and contribute to the cariogenicity of S. mutans.

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