Specific cell components of Bacteroides gingivalis mediate binding and degradation of human fibrinogen

M. S. Lantz, R. D. Allen, T. A. Vail, L. M. Switalski, M. Hook

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50 Scopus citations


Bacteroides (Porphyromonas) gingivalis, which has been implicated as an etiologic agent in human periodontal diseases, has been shown to bind and degrade human fibrinogen. B. gingivalis strains bind fibrinogen reversibly and with high affinity and bind to a specific region of the fibrinogen molecule that appears to be located between the D and E domains (M. S. Lantz, R. D. Allen, P. Bounelis, L. M. Switalski, and M. Hook, J. Bacteriol. 172:716-726, 1990). We now report that human fibrinogen is bound and then degraded by specific B. gingivalis components that appear to be localized at the cell surface. Fibrinogen binding to bacterial cells occurred at 4, 22, and 37°C. A functional fibrinogen-binding component (M(r), 150,000) was identified when sodium dodecyl sulfate-solubilized bacteria were fractionated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, transferred to nitrocellulose membranes, and probed with 125I-fibrinogen. Fibrinogen degradation did not occur at 4°C but did occur at 22 and 37°C. When bacteria and iodinated fibrinogen were incubated at 37°C, two major fibrinogen fragments (M(r), 97,000 and 50,000) accumulated in incubation mixture supernatant fractions. Two major fibrinogen-degrading components (M(r), 120,000 and 150,000) have been identified by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in substrate-containing gels. Fibrinogen degradation by the M(r)-120,000 and -150,000 proteases was enhanced by reducing agents, completely inhibited by N-α-p-tosyl-L-lysyl chloromethyl ketone, and partially inhibited by n-ethyl maleimide, suggesting that these enzymes are thiol-dependent proteases with trypsinlike substrate specificity. The fibrinogen-binding component could be separated from the fibrinogen-degrading components by selective solubilization of bacteria in sodium deoxycholate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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