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Innate Immun. 2017 Apr;23(3):319-326. doi: 10.1177/1753425917694245. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

Sialylation of Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS and its effect on bacterial-host interactions.

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1 Plymouth University, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, UK.
2 Queen's University Belfast, Centre for Dentistry, Belfast, UK.
3 Queen's University Belfast, Centre for Experimental Medicine, Belfast, UK.
4 University of Ulster, School of Biomedical Science, Coleraine, UK.


Porphyromonas gingivalis produces different LPS isoforms with significant structural variations of their lipid A and O-antigen moieties that can affect its pro-inflammatory and bone-resorbing potential. We show here, for the first time, that P. gingivalis LPS isolated from W83 strain is highly sialylated and possesses significantly reduced inflammatory potential compared with less sialylated ATCC 33277 strain LPS. Nevertheless, the reduction in the endotoxin activity is not mediated by the presence of sialic acid LPS moieties as the sialic acid-free LPS produced by the mutant W83 strain exhibits a similar inflammatory potential to the wild type strain. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the interaction between the sialic acid LPS moieties and the inhibitory CD33 receptor is prevented by endogenously expressed sialic acid on the surface of THP-1 cells that cannot be out-competed by sialic acid containing P. gingivalis LPS. The present study also highlights the importance of endogenous sialic acid as a 'self-associated molecular pattern' and CD33 receptors in modulation of innate immune response as human gingival fibroblasts, which do not express CD33 receptors, and desialylated THP-1 cells have both been found to have much higher spontaneous IL-8 production than naïve THP-1 cells.


Inflammation; LPS; Porphyromonas gingivalis; periodontal diseases; sialic acid

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