Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Jan 22;82(7):2078-2085. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03946-15.

Reduced Glutathione Mediates Resistance to H2S Toxicity in Oral Streptococci.

Author information

Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore.
Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore


Periodontal disease is associated with changes in the composition of the oral microflora, where health-associated oral streptococci decrease while Gram-negative anaerobes predominate in disease. A key feature of periodontal disease-associated anaerobes is their ability to produce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) abundantly as a by-product of anaerobic metabolism. So far, H2S has been reported to be either cytoprotective or cytotoxic by modulating bacterial antioxidant defense systems. Although oral anaerobes produce large amounts of H2S, the potential effects of H2S on oral streptococci are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of H2S on the survival and biofilm formation of oral streptococci. The growth and biofilm formation of Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis were inhibited by H2S. However, H2S did not significantly affect the growth of Streptococcus gordonii or Streptococcus sanguinis. The differential susceptibility of oral streptococci to H2S was attributed to differences in the intracellular concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH). In the absence of GSH, H2S elicited its toxicity through an iron-dependent mechanism. Collectively, our results showed that H2S exerts antimicrobial effects on certain oral streptococci, potentially contributing to the decrease in health-associated plaque microflora.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center