Cell density- and ComE-dependent expression of a group of mutacin and mutacin-like genes in Streptococcus mutans

Jens Kreth, Justin Merritt, Lin Zhu, Wenyuan Shi, Fengxia Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Streptococcus mutans is a major cariogenic inhabitant of the high cell density oral biofilm (dental plaque). In previous studies, we showed that production of one of its virulence factors, the bacteriocin mutacin IV, was regulated by high cell density as well as the competence regulatory system ComED. In this study, we utilized luciferase fusions and real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), to demonstrate that high cell density and ComED also regulate an uncharacterized group of mutacin and mutacin-like genes. Under high cell density or in the presence of externally added competence-stimulating peptide (CSP), gene expression increased 10- to 30-fold. Interestingly, high cell density was able to bypass the requirement for CSP addition. However, both cell density and CSP-dependent gene expression had a strict requirement for the ComE response regulator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume265
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • CSP
  • Cell density
  • Mutacin
  • Streptococcus mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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