Send to

Choose Destination
Peptides. 2011 May;32(5):1073-7. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Gingipains produced by Porphyromonas gingivalis ATCC49417 degrade human-β-defensin 3 and affect peptide's antibacterial activity in vitro.

Author information

Dipartimento di Patologia Sperimentale, Biotecnologie Mediche, Infettivologia ed Epidemiologia, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the major pathogen associated with periodontitis, is a highly proteolytic bacterial species. Production of proteases is a common microbial virulence factor that enables the destruction of host tissues and evasion from host defense mechanisms. Antimicrobial peptides are important effector molecules of the innate immune system with a broad range of antimicrobial and immunoregulatory activities. We and others have previously demonstrated that P. gingivalis is relatively resistant to the bactericidal activity of the human β-defensin 3 (hBD3). In this study, ability of proteases released by the pathogenic strain of P. gingivalis ATCC 49417 to degrade hBD3 and to affect the antibacterial properties of the peptide was assessed. P. gingivalis culture supernatants (CS) were found to degrade hBD3 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Such degradation was mainly due to the activity of Arg and Lys-gingipains, as pretreatment of CS with inhibitors selective for this class of proteases abolished CS ability to degrade hBD3. Importantly, preincubation of hBD3 with CS reduced peptide's antibacterial activity against a susceptible strain of Staphylococcus aureus, while the presence of gingipain inhibitors in the bactericidal assay increased P. gingivalis susceptibility to hBD3. Altogether these results suggest that gingipains may have a role in the resistance of P. gingivalis ATCC 49417 to hBD3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center