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GLYCOBIOLOGY OF A NOVEL, PUTATIVE PERIODONTAL HEALTH-ASSOCIATED, TANNERELLA SPECIES

Project Leader
Schäffer Christina, Project Leader
Duration:
01.12.2020-30.11.2023
Programme:
Einzelprojekte
Type of Research
Basic Research
Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Biologisch inspirierte Materialien
Funded by
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) , Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
Abstract
Tannerella sp. HOT-286, a recently identified, novel Gram-negative oral anaerobe, is the closest phylogenetic relative to the periodontal pathogen T. forsythia, but is not periodontal disease-associated itself. It possesses a predictably glycosylated S-layer whose morphology is reminiscent to that of the pathogenic type strain. The S-layer proteins as well as other proteins contain O-glycosylation sequons typical of the Bacteroidetes phylum of bacteria, indicative of a diverse glycoproteome in Tannerella sp. HOT-286. However, the region in its genome corresponding to that of the glycosylation gene clusters in the pathogenic strains shows a different gene composition lacking several of the common genes, including those for nonulosonic acid biosynthesis. The absence of these and other virulence-associated genes may explain the lack of periodontal pathogenesis by this species and provides a new foundation to further understand the genome evolution and mechanisms of bacteria-host interaction in closely related oral microbes with different pathogenicity potential.
Supportive of the genomic data, we have obtained preliminary evidence of an altered cell envelope glycobiology of Tannerella sp. HOT-286 in comparison to the pathogen T. forsythia by (i) mass-spectrometry revealing an S-layer O-glycan of smaller monoisotropic value and the failure of Tannerella sp. HOT-286 cells to react with S-layer antibodies specific for the type-strain; (ii) the identification of a novel glycosylation machinery; and (iii) the demonstration that Tannerella sp. HOT-286 is not auxotrophic for the peptidoglycan constituent N-acetylmuramic acid. Our recent success in cultivating Tannerella sp. HOT-286 in pure culture, makes now detailed glycobiological investigations possible.
To learn about the glycobiology and, eventually, delineate glycobiology-based mechanisms that might support the association of Tannerella sp. HOT-286 with periodontal health, we aim at determining details about the bacterium's cell envelope glycobiology and possible implications for its lifestyle and interaction with the host.
This work can inform about novel antimicrobial strategies against periodontitis, for which – despite its global occurrence and link to systemic diseases – no effective treatment is currently available.
Keywords
Biochemistry; Genetics; Glycobiology; Microbiology;
Glykobiologie; novel Tannerella species; Periodontitis; Proteinglykosylierung; Tannerella forsythia;
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