Peptide Inhibitors of Streptococcus mutans in the Control of Dental Caries

  • Charles G. KellyEmail author
  • Thomas Lehner
Special Issue: Peptides in Oral and Dental Research


Peptides have been investigated as potential inhibitors of Streptococcus mutans, the main cause of dental caries, and have demonstrated considerable promise. In a human trial, topical application to tooth surfaces of a synthetic peptide inhibitor (p1025) of S. mutans adhesion prevented recolonisation with the oral pathogen following treatment with chlorhexidine gluconate (a broad spectrum antiseptic compound). An important feature of this treatment is that the duration of protection extends well beyond the period in which p1025 is applied. The specific targeting of S. mutans which allows other members of the oral flora associated with health to recolonise the oral cavity and competitively exclude S. mutans may explain the extended protection. Further in vitro studies have identified several other peptides which may have potential as inhibitors of S. mutans. Of particular interest are studies that demonstrate that competence stimulating peptides of S. mutans act as inhibitors of S. mutans growth and that peptides derived from the competence stimulating peptides can be used as a means of specifically targeting broad spectrum antimicrobial peptides.


Streptococcus mutans dental caries bacterial adhesion antimicrobials streptococcal antigen I/II adhesion blocking peptide competence stimulating peptides targeting peptides 


  1. Allan E., Hussain H. A., Crawford K. R., et al (2007) FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 268:47–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bikker F. J., Ligtenberg A. J., Nazmi K., et al (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277:32109–32115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bray, B. L. (2003) Nat. Rev. Drug Discovery 2:587–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Demuth D. R., Irvine D. C. (2002) Infect. Immun. 70:6389–6398PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Demuth D. R., Golub E. E., Malamud D. (1990a) J. Biol. Chem. 265:7120–7126PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Demuth D. R., Lammey M. S., Huck M., Lally E. T., Malamud D. (1990b) Microbial Pathogen. 9:199–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eckert R., He J., Yarbrough D. K., Qi F., Anderson M. H., Shi W. (2006) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50:3651–3657PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Emilson C. G. (1994) J. Dent. Res. 73:682–691PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Jakubovics N. S., Strömberg N., van Dolleweerd C. J., Kelly C. G., Jenkinson H. F. (2005) Mol. Microbiol. 55:1591–1605PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kelly C., Evans P., Bergmeier L., et al (1989) FEBS Lett. 258:127–132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kelly C. G., Todryk S., Kendal H. L., Munro G. H., Lehner T. (1995) Infect. Immun. 63:3649–3658PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kelly C. G., Younson J. S., Hikmat B. Y., et al (1999) Nat. Biotechnol. 17:42–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Koga T., Okahashi N., Takahashi I., Kanamoto T., Asakawa, H., Iwaki M. (1990) Infect. Immun. 58:289–296PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. LaPolla R. J., Haron J. A., Kelly C. G., et al (1991) Infect. Immun. 59:2677–2685PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, S. F., Progulske-Fox, A., Bleiweis, A. S. (1988) Infect. Immun. 56:2114–2119PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Lee S. F., Progulske-Fox A., Erdos G. W., et al (1989) Infect. Immun. 57:3306–3313PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee S. G., Pancholi V., Fischetti V. A. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277:46912–46922PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lehner T., Caldwell J, Smith R. (1985) Infect. Immun. 50:796–799PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Levine M. J., Herzberg M. C., Levine M. S., et al (1978) Infect. Immun. 19:107–115PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Li Y. H., Lau P. C., Lee J. H., Ellen R. P., Cvitkovitch D. G. (2001) J. Bacteriol. 183:897–908PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Loesche W. J., Straffon L. H. (1979) Infect. Immun. 26:498–507PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Loesche W. J., Rowan J., Straffon L. H., Loos P. J. (1975) Infect. Immun. 11:1252–1260PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Loimaranta V., Jakubovics N. S., Hytönen J. F., et al (2005) Infect. Immun. 73:2245–2252PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ma J. K. -C., Hunjan M., Smith R., Kelly C., Lehner T. (1990) Infect. Immun. 58:3407–3414PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Ma J. K.-C., Hunjan M., Smith R., Lehner T. (1989) Clin. Exp. Immunol. 77:331–337PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. McBride B. C., Song M., Krasse B., Olsson J. (1984) Infect. Immun. 44:68–75PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Mollenhauer J., Wiemann S., Scheurlen W., et al (1997) Nat. Genet. 17:32–39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Munro G. H., Evans P., Todryk S., Buckett P., Kelly C. G., Lehner T. (1993) Infect. Immun. 61:4590–4598PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Oggioni M. R., Iannelli F., Ricci S., et al (2004) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 48:4725–4732PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ogier J. A., Scholler M., Lepoivre Y., Pini A., Sommer P., Klein J. P. (1990) FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 68:223–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Okahashi N., Sasakawa C., Yoshikawa M., Hamada S., Koga T. (1989b) Mol. Microbiol. 3:673–678PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Okahashi N., Sasakawa C., Yoshikawa M., Hamada S., Koga T. (1989a) Mol. Microbiol. 3:221–228PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Prakobphol A., Xu F., Hoang V. M., et al (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275:39860–39866PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Qi F., Kreth J., Levesque C. M., Kay O., et al (2005) FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 251:321–326PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Russell R. R. B. (1979) J. Gen. Microbiol. 114:109–115PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Russell M. W., Lehner T. (1978) Arch. Oral Biol. 23:7–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stephenson K., Hoch J. A. (2002) Pharmacol. Ther. 93:293–305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tokuda M., Okahashi N., Takahashi I., et al (1991) Infect. Immun. 59:3309–3312PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Troffer-Charlier N., Ogier J., Moras D., Cavarelli J. (2002) J. Mol. Biol. 318:179–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College London, Dental Institute at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals, Oral ImmunologyLondonUK
  2. 2.King’s College London, Oral ImmunologyLondonUK

Personalised recommendations