Characterizing the specific coaggregation between Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans serotype c strains and Porphyromonas gingivalis ATCC 33277

Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2006 Dec;21(6):385-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-302X.2006.00309.x.


A visual coaggregation study showed specific interspecies coaggregation between an Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans serotype c strain and Porphyromonas gingivalis strains ATCC 33277 and 381. We mutagenized A. actinomycetemcomitans SUNYaB 67 (serotype c) with transposon IS903phikan and isolated three transposon insertion mutants that had a reduced ability to aggregate with P. gingivalis ATCC 33277. The three transposon insertions in the mutant strains mapped to the genes at ORF12, ORF13 and ORF16 of the gene cluster responsible for producing serotype c-specific polysaccharide antigen (SPA). Western blot analysis with serotype c-specific antibody showed that these strains did not produce the high-molecular-mass smear of SPA. Furthermore, two SPA-deficient mutants and an SPA-producing mutant were constructed. The two SPA-deficient mutants were deficient for ORF12 and ORF14, which are necessary for the synthesis of serotype c-SPA, and the SPA-producing mutant was deficient for ORF17, which is not related to SPA synthesis. The ORF12- and ORF14-deficient mutants showed reduced ability to aggregate with P. gingivalis ATCC 33277, while the ORF17-deficient mutant aggregated with ATCC 33277 to the same extent as wild-type SUNYaB 67. Our findings suggest that serotype c-SPA of A. actinomycetemcomitans mediates coaggregation with P. gingivalis ATCC 33277.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / genetics*
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / physiology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Adhesion / genetics*
  • Ecosystem
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / genetics*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / physiology*
  • Quorum Sensing / genetics
  • Serotyping
  • Species Specificity


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial