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Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 20;9(1):4744. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07148-3.

Quantitative metaproteomics of medieval dental calculus reveals individual oral health status.

Author information

1
Proteomics Program, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark.
2
Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350, Copenhagen K, Denmark.
3
Disease Systems Biology Program, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark.
4
Periodontology and Microbiology, Department of Odontology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Allé 20, 2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark.
5
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350, Copenhagen K, Denmark.
6
Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing St, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, UK.
7
Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederik V's Vej 11, 2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
8
Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350, Copenhagen K, Denmark. ecappellini@snm.ku.dk.
9
Proteomics Program, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark. jesper.olsen@cpr.ku.dk.

Abstract

The composition of ancient oral microbiomes has recently become accessible owing to advanced biomolecular methods such as metagenomics and metaproteomics, but the utility of metaproteomics for such analyses is less explored. Here, we use quantitative metaproteomics to characterize the dental calculus associated with the remains of 21 humans retrieved during the archeological excavation of the medieval (ca. 1100-1450 CE) cemetery of Tjærby, Denmark. We identify 3671 protein groups, covering 220 bacterial species and 81 genera across all medieval samples. The metaproteome profiles of bacterial and human proteins suggest two distinct groups of archeological remains corresponding to health-predisposed and oral disease-susceptible individuals, which is supported by comparison to the calculus metaproteomes of healthy living individuals. Notably, the groupings identified by metaproteomics are not apparent from the bioarchaeological analysis, illustrating that quantitative metaproteomics has the potential to provide additional levels of molecular information about the oral health status of individuals from archeological contexts.

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