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Microbiol Immunol. 2006;50(4):315-25.

Gingipains inactivate a cell surface ligand on Porphyromonas gingivalis that induces TLR2-and TLR4-independent signaling.

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  • 1Division of Periodontology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.


Arginine-specific gingipain and lysine-specific gingipain are two major cysteine proteinases produced by Porphyromonas gingivalis. To clarify the role of gingipains in the interaction between P. gingivalis and the innate immune system, CHO reporter cells expressing TLR2 or TLR4 were stimulated with wildtype or gingipain-deficient P. gingivalis cells and activation of nuclear factor-kappaB in these cells was examined. While CHO/CD14 cells and 7.19 cells, an MD-2-defective mutant derived from CHO/CD14 cells, failed to respond to wild-type P. gingivalis, they responded to gingipain-deficient P. gingivalis. On the other hand, CHO/CD14/TLR2 cells responded to both wild-type and gingipain-deficient P. gingivalis. These results suggested that gingipains have no effects on TLR2-dependent signaling from P. gingivalis but have inhibitory effects on TLR2-and TLR4-independent signaling in CHO cells. Indeed, the activity of gingipain-deficient P. gingivalis to induce the activation of 7.19 cells was diminished after treatment of the bacterial cells with gingipains. We next partially purified bacterial cell components activating 7.19 cells from gingipain-deficient P. gingivalis. The activity of the partially purified components was diminished by treatment with heat or gingipains. It is also noteworthy that anti-CD14 mAb inhibited the activation of 7.19 cells induced by the partially purified components. These results indicated that the components of P. gingivalis that were able to induce TLR2-and TLR4-independent signaling were inactivated by gingipains before being recognized by CD14. The inactivation of the components would be helpful for P. gingivalis to escape from the innate immune system.

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