Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 165–172 | Cite as

Utilization of mucin by oral Streptococcus species

  • J. S. van der Hoeven
  • C. W. A. van den Kieboom
  • P. J. M. Camp


The ability of oral Streptococcus strains to utilize oligosaccharide chains in mucin as a source of carbohydrate was studied in batch cultures. Pig gastric mucin, as a substitute of human salivary mucin, was added to chemically defined medium containing no other carbohydrates. Strains of S. mitior attained the highest cell density, while mutans streptococci: S. mutans, S. sobrinus, S. rattus, grew very little in the medium with mucin. S. mitis, S. sanguis, and S. milleri in decreasing order, showed intermediate growth. Mucin break-down as measured by sugar analyses indicated that oligosaccharide chains were only partially degraded. Every strain produced one or more exoglycosidases potentially involved in hydrolysis of oligosaccharide. The enzyme activities occurred mainly associated with the cells, and very little activity was found in the culture fluids. The relationships between glycosidase activities and growth, or mucin degradation were not always clear.

Key words

fermentation glycosidase mucin oligosaccharide degradation Streptococcus species 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. van der Hoeven
    • 1
  • C. W. A. van den Kieboom
    • 1
  • P. J. M. Camp
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Oral MicrobiologyUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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