Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 54, Issue 9, pp 632–637 | Cite as

D-Galactose as an autoinducer 2 inhibitor to control the biofilm formation of periodontopathogens

  • Eun-Ju Ryu
  • Jaehyun Sim
  • Jun Sim
  • Julian Lee
  • Bong-Kyu ChoiEmail author


Autoinducer 2 (AI-2) is a quorum sensing molecule to which bacteria respond to regulate various phenotypes, including virulence and biofilm formation. AI-2 plays an important role in the formation of a subgingival biofilm composed mostly of Gram-negative anaerobes, by which periodontitis is initiated. The aim of this study was to evaluate D-galactose as an inhibitor of AI-2 activity and thus of the biofilm formation of periodontopathogens. In a search for an AI-2 receptor of Fusobacterium nucleatum, D-galactose binding protein (Gbp, Gene ID FN1165) showed high sequence similarity with the ribose binding protein (RbsB), a known AI-2 receptor of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. D-Galactose was evaluated for its inhibitory effect on the AI-2 activity of Vibrio harveyi BB152 and F. nucleatum, the major coaggregation bridge organism, which connects early colonizing commensals and late pathogenic colonizers in dental biofilms. The inhibitory effect of D-galactose on the biofilm formation of periodontopathogens was assessed by crystal violet staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy in the absence or presence of AI-2 and secreted molecules of F. nucleatum. D-Galactose significantly inhibited the AI-2 activity of V. harveyi and F. nucleatum. In addition, D-galactose markedly inhibited the biofilm formation of F. nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Tannerella forsythia induced by the AI-2 of F. nucleatum without affecting bacterial growth. Our results demonstrate that the Gbp may function as an AI-2 receptor and that galactose may be used for prevention of the biofilm formation of periodontopathogens by targeting AI-2 activity.


quorum sensing periodontopathogens biofilm AI-2 inhibitor D-galactose 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun-Ju Ryu
    • 1
  • Jaehyun Sim
    • 1
  • Jun Sim
    • 3
  • Julian Lee
    • 3
  • Bong-Kyu Choi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, School of DentistrySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Dental Research Institute, School of DentistrySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Bioinformatics and Life ScienceSoongsil UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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