Surface hydrophobicity, adherence, and aggregation of cell surface protein antigen mutants of Streptococcus mutans serotype c
Koga, T.; Okahashi, N.; Takahashi, I.; Kanamoto, T.; Asakawa, H.; Iwaki, M.
Infection and Immunity 58(2): 289-296
ISSN/ISBN: 0019-9567 PMID: 2298480 Accession: 007847947
The pac gene of the serotype strain Streptococcus mutans MT8148 encodes a cell surface protein antigen (PAc) of approximate 190 kilodaltons. The serotype c strain S. mutans GS-5does not produce the 190-kilodalton PAc but produces a lower-molecular-weight protein that reacts with anti-PAc serum. The SphI-BamHI fragment of the pac gene was ligated with the S. mutans-Escherichia coli shuttle vector pSA3. The chimeric shuttle vector was transformed into strain GS-5, and two transformants (TK15 and TK18) were isolated. These transformants produced a large amount of cell-free and cell-bound PAc of 190 kilodaltons. No plasmid was isolated from these transformants, and the EcoRI fragments of their chromosomal DNA hybridized with the erythromycin resistance gene in the shuttle vector DNA, indicating insertion of the chimeric shuttle vector DNA into the chromosomal DNA. The cell hydrophobicity of strains TK15 and TK18 as well as PAc-defective mutants constructed by inserting an erythromycin resistance gene into the pac gene of strain MT8148 was analyzed. Strains MT8148, TK15, and TK18 were hydrophobic. On the other hand, strain GS-5and PAc-defective MT8148 transformants were hydrophilic. Resting cells of the hydrophobic strains attached in larger numbers to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite than did the hydrophilic strains. Human whole saliva induced the aggregation of cells of the hydrophobic strains but not that of the cells of the hydrophilic strains. These results suggest that cell surface PAc of S. mutans serotype c participates in attachment of the streptococcal cell to experimental pellicles.