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Microbiology. 1994 Apr;140 ( Pt 4):867-72.

Molecules of Streptococcus gordonii that bind to Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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Department of Oral Biology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Interbacterial binding is considered an important colonization mechanism for many of the organisms that inhabit dental plaque. Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal pathogen, can adhere to species that comprise early plaque, such as Streptococcus gordonii. In this study, the molecules of S. gordonii G9B that mediate binding to P. gingivalis were investigated. Biotinylated surface molecules of S. gordonii were extracted and mixed with P. gingivalis cells. Interactive streptococcal components were identified by SDS-PAGE of the P. gingivalis cells followed by electroblotting, and visualization of the adsorbed streptococcal molecules with streptavidin-alkaline phosphatase. S. gordonii molecules of 45 kDa and a doublet of 62/60 kDa were observed to bind to P. gingivalis. Polyclonal antibodies raised to the 62/60 kDa proteins inhibited the binding interaction. These antibodies demonstrated an antigenic relationship between the 62/60 kDa molecules and the 45 kDa protein. Both molecules were also antigenically related to, and may be breakdown products of, a larger molecule of 170 kDa which is antigenically related to the P1 antigen of S. mutans. Cloning and expression in Enterococcus faecalis of the gene for the P1-like molecule from S. gordonii M5 resulted in a phenotype that expressed the 62/60 kDa and 45 kDa antigens and was capable of binding to P. gingivalis. These results suggest that a P1-like molecule in S. gordonii is involved in adherence to P. gingivalis. Processing of the P1-like molecule into smaller fragments of 62/60 kDa and 45 kDa may be required for binding activity.

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