Variation of expression defects in cell surface 190-kDa protein antigen of Streptococcus mutans

Jinthana Lapirattanakul, Ryota Nomura, Michiyo Matsumoto-Nakano, Ratchapin Srisatjaluk, Takashi Ooshima, Kazuhiko Nakano

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Streptococcus mutans, which consists of four serotypes, c, e, f, and k, possesses a 190-kDa cell surface protein antigen (PA) for initial tooth adhesion. We used Western blot analysis to determine PA expression in 750 S. mutans isolates from 150 subjects and found a significantly higher prevalence of the isolates with PA expression defects in serotypes f and k compared to serotypes c and e. Moreover, the defect patterns could be classified into three types; no PA expression on whole bacterial cells and in their supernatant samples (Type N1), PA expression mainly seen in supernatant samples (Type N2), and only low expression of PA in the samples of whole bacterial cells (Type W). The underlying reasons for the defects were mutations in the gene encoding PA as well as in the transcriptional processing of this gene for Type N1, defects in the sortase gene for Type N2, and low mRNA expression of PA for Type W. Since cellular hydrophobicity and phagocytosis susceptibility of the PA-defective isolates were significantly lower than those of the normal expression isolates, the potential implication of such defective isolates in systemic diseases involving bacteremia other than dental caries was suggested. Additionally, multilocus sequence typing was utilized to characterize S. mutans clones that represented a proportion of isolates with PA defects of 65-100%. Therefore, we described the molecular basis for variation defects in PA expression of S. mutans. Furthermore, we also emphasized the strong association between PA expression defects and serotypes f and k as well as the clonal relationships among these isolates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-391
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


  • Cell surface protein antigen
  • Expression defect
  • MLST
  • S. mutans
  • Serotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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