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Infect Immun. 2011 Jul;79(7):2779-91. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00106-11. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Sialidase and sialoglycoproteases can modulate virulence in Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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Division of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California 92350, USA.


The Porphyromonas gingivalis recombinant VimA can interact with the gingipains and several other proteins, including a sialidase. Sialylation can be involved in protein maturation; however, its role in virulence regulation in P. gingivalis is unknown. The three sialidase-related proteins in P. gingivalis showed the characteristic sialidase Asp signature motif (SXDXGXTW) and other unique domains. To evaluate the roles of the associated genes, randomly chosen P. gingivalis isogenic mutants created by allelic exchange and designated FLL401 (PG0778::ermF), FLL402 (PG1724::ermF), and FLL403 (PG0352::ermF-ermAM) were characterized. Similar to the wild-type strain, FLL402 and FLL403 displayed a black-pigmented phenotype in contrast to FLL401, which was not black pigmented. Sialidase activity in P. gingivalis FLL401 was reduced by approximately 70% in comparison to those in FLL402 and FLL403, which were reduced by approximately 42% and 5%, respectively. Although there were no changes in the expression of the gingipain genes, their activities were reduced by 60 to 90% in all the isogenic mutants compared to that for the wild type. Immunoreactive bands representing the catalytic domains for RgpA, RgpB, and Kgp were present in FLL402 and FLL403 but were missing in FLL401. While adhesion was decreased, the capacity for invasion of epithelial cells by the isogenic mutants was increased by 11 to 16% over that of the wild-type strain. Isogenic mutants defective in PG0778 and PG0352 were more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than the wild type. Taken together, these results suggest that the P. gingivalis sialidase activity may be involved in regulating gingipain activity and other virulence factors and may be important in the pathogenesis of this organism.

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