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J Ind Microbiol. 1995 Sep;15(3):176-85.

Adhesin receptors of human oral bacteria and modeling of putative adhesin-binding domains.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC 20307-5100, USA.


Adherence by bacteria to a surface is critical to their survival in the human oral cavity. Many types of molecules are present in the saliva and serous exudates that form the acquired pellicle, a coating on the tooth surface, and serve as receptor molecules for adherent bacteria. The primary colonizing bacteria utilize adhesins to adhere to specific pellicle receptor molecules, then may adhere to other primary colonizers via adhesins, or may present receptor molecules to be utilized by secondary colonizing species. The most common primary colonizing bacteria are streptococci, and six streptococcal cell wall polysaccharide receptor molecules have been structurally characterized. A comparison of the putative adhesin disaccharide-binding regions of the six polysaccharides suggests three groups. A representative of each group was modeled in molecular dynamics simulations. In each case it was found that a loop formed between the galactofuranose beta (Galf beta) and an oxygen of the nearest phosphate group on the reducing side of the Galf beta, that this loop was stabilized by hydrogen bonds, and that within each loop resides the putative disaccharide-binding domain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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