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Mol Oral Microbiol. 2013 Jun;28(3):167-80. doi: 10.1111/omi.12017. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

VimA mediates multiple functions that control virulence in Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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


Porphyromonas gingivalis, a black-pigmented, gram-negative anaerobe, is an important etiological agent of periodontal disease. Its ability to survive in the periodontal pocket and orchestrate the microbial/host activities that can lead to disease suggest that P. gingivalis possesses a complex regulatory network involving transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. The vimA (virulence modulating) gene is part of the 6.15-kb bcp-recA-vimA-vimE-vimF-aroG locus and plays a role in oxidative stress resistance. In addition to the glycosylation and anchorage of several surface proteins including the gingipains, VimA can also modulate sialylation, acetyl coenzyme A transfer, lipid A and its associated proteins and may be involved in protein sorting and transport. In this review, we examine the multifunctional role of VimA and discuss its possible involvement in a major regulatory network important for survival and virulence regulation in P. gingivalis. It is postulated that the multifunction of VimA is modulated via a post-translational mechanism involving acetylation.

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