Contribution of cell surface protein antigen c of Streptococcus mutans to platelet aggregation

M. Matsumoto-Nakano, M. Tsuji, S. Inagaki, Kazuyo Fujita, K. Nagayama, R. Nomura, T. Ooshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Streptococcus mutans is considered to be one of the pathogens that cause infective endocarditis. The purpose of the present study was to examine the properties of S. mutans with regard to platelet aggregation by focusing on its high molecular protein antigen c (PAc). Methods: The platelet aggregation properties of six clinical strains and one isogenic mutant strain of S. mutans were analysed using an aggregometer and confocal microscopy, as well as with an inhibition assay of platelet aggregation using anti-PAc serum. Results: S. mutans strains with PAc expression induced platelet aggregation, while a PAc-deficient mutant and two clinical isolates with no PAc expression did not. When platelets were pretreated with higher amounts of anti-PAc serum, the platelet aggregation rate was reduced in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that PAc binds directly to platelets. Conclusion: S. mutans PAc is involved in human platelet aggregation and may be one of the virulence factors in the pathogenesis of infective endocarditis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-430
Number of pages4
JournalOral microbiology and immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Platelet aggregation
  • Protein antigen c
  • Streptococcus mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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