Porphyromonas gingivalis mutant defective in a putative extracytoplasmic function sigma factor shows a mutator phenotype

Y. Kikuchi, N. Ohara, O. Ueda, K. Hirai, Y. Shibata, K. Nakayama, S. Fujimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Porphyromonas gingivalis is implicated as a major pathogen in the development and progression of chronic periodontitis. P. gingivalis must possess the ability to tolerate stress signals outside the cytoplasmic membrane by transcriptional activation of genes encoding proteins involved in defense or repair processes. Some bacteria utilize a distinct subfamily of sigma factors to regulate extracytoplasmic function (hence termed the ECF subfamily). Methods: To elucidate their role in P. gingivalis, a chromosomal mutant carrying a disruption of an ECF sigma factor PG1318-encoding gene was constructed. Hemagglutination and proteolytic activities were measured in the PG1318-defective mutant. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and southern blot analysis were used to assess transcription of kgp in the PG1318-defective mutant. Frequency of spontaneous mutation that conferred resistance to l-trifluoromethionine was measured in the PG1318-defective mutant. Results: The PG1318-defective mutant formed non-pigmented colonies on blood agar plates at a relatively high frequency. Arginine-specific and lysine-specific proteinase activities of the non-pigmented variants were remarkably decreased compared with those of the parent strain and the pigmented variants. RT-PCR analysis showed that kgp was not transcribed in some non-pigmented variants and southern blot analysis revealed that there was a deletion in their kgp region. Frequency of mutation conferring resistance to l-trifluoromethionine was significantly higher in the PG1318-defective mutant than in the wild-type. Conclusion: These results suggest that PG1318 plays a role in the regulation of mutation frequency in the bacterium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
JournalOral microbiology and immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • ECF sigma factor
  • Mutator
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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