Modification of in Vitro Adherence of Streptococcus Mutans by Plant Lectins

  • Robert H. Staat
  • R. J. Doyle
  • Sharon D. Langley
  • Richard P. Suddick
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 107)


Sucrose-dependent adherence appears to be the key element in the virulence of the cariogenic microbe, Streptococcus mutans. A number of different experiments have implicated glucans produced from sucrose by the microbe’s glucosyltransferases (GTF) as the primary factor in adherence. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that interference with either the enzyme or the glucans would be sufficient to reduce the organism’s virulence [reviewed by van Houte (1)]. This hypothesis has been at least partially validated. Treatment of viable S. mutans cells with glucanohydrolases (2–5) during glucan synthesis reduces in vitro adherence and in vivo caries incidence. Antibodies specific for partially purified GTF likewise effectively inhibit adherence of the microbe (6,7). Finally, mutants of S. mutans which are defective in glucan synthesis are neither adherent nor virulent (8,9).


Dental Caries Adherence Assay Streptococcus Mutans Plant Lectin Polyaspartic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Staat
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. J. Doyle
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sharon D. Langley
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Richard P. Suddick
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Oral BiologyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Immunology, Schools of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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