Characterization of a P1-deficient strain of Streptococcus mutans that expresses the SpaA protein of Streptococcus sobrinus
Infection and Immunity
The Streptococcus sobrinus SpaA protein and the Streptococcus mutans P1 protein share 66% sequence homology at the amino acid level. To determine if the SpaA protein can be expressed in S. mutans and functionally replace the P1 protein, the spaA gene of S. sobrinus 6715 was isolated from plasmid pXI303 and inserted into the Escherichia coli-Streptococcus shuttle vector pVA838. The resulting plasmid pXI600 was transformed into the P1-deficient strain S. mutans 834 that has defects in
... ects in saliva-mediated aggregation and in the ability to adhere to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite surfaces. Western blot (immunoblot) analysis of cellular protein fractions of S. mutans 834(pXI600) detected in mutanolysin-solubilized cell walls a major protein of 210 kDa with an electrophoretic mobility similar to that of S. sobrinus SpaA protein and a minor 210-kDa protein and a major 64-kDa protein in the extracellular protein fraction. Analysis of virulence traits showed that expression of SpaA protein by S. mutans 834(pXI600) cells had restored the ability of the S. mutans 834 cells to aggregate in the presence of saliva or salivary agglutinin but not to adhere to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite. This cell aggregation was inhibited specifically by antisera to S. sobrinus SpaA protein. These results indicate that SpaA plays a role in the virulence of S. sobrinus by specifically interacting with fluid-phase salivary agglutinin to mediate cell aggregation.