Modification of in Vitro Adherence of Streptococcus Mutans by Plant Lectins
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).
KeywordsDental Caries Adherence Assay Streptococcus Mutans Plant Lectin Polyaspartic Acid
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