Background: Localized aggressive periodontitis (LAgP) is a disease characterized by rapid loss of alveolar bone in teeth of otherwise healthy patients. Neutrophils from LAgP patients have been shown to exhibit diminished chemotaxis and low levels of formyl peptide receptor (FPR) surface expression. A recent study has associated LAgP with 2 polymorphisms in the FPR: 110Phe-->Ser and 126Cys-->Trp.
Methods: We transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells with wtFPR, FPR-110Phe-->Ser, FPR-126Cys-->Trp, or FPR-110Phe-->Ala and determined their surface expression of FPR, their ligand binding affinity, their G-protein coupling, and their chemotaxis toward N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP).
Results: FPR-110Phe-->Ser mutants failed to show any significant surface expression or chemotaxis toward FMLP. FPR-126Cys-->Trp mutants exhibited slightly lower than normal binding affinity, markedly lower G-protein coupling response, and markedly lower chemotaxis toward FMLP than that observed with wtFPR. We also analyzed another FPR-Phe110 mutant, FPR-110Phe-->Ala, to ascertain what the effect of mutating this residue might be in a mutant that could be expressed on the cell surface. The FPR-110Phe-->Ala mutant demonstrated markedly lower surface expression, normal ligand binding affinity, markedly lower G-protein coupling, and markedly lower chemotaxis toward FMLP.
Conclusions: Our data substantiate the hypothesis that the chemotactic defects observed in LAgP patients are due at least in part to molecular alterations in the FPR. The FPR-110Phe-->Ser polymorphism appears to be more defective than the FPR-126Cys-->Trp polymorphism, indicating that patients with the former polymorphism might be expected to exhibit a more severe form of aggressive periodontitis.