Molecular and antigenic similarities of the fimbrial major components between Porphyromonas gulae and P. gingivalis

Vet Microbiol. 2008 Apr 1;128(1-2):108-17. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2007.09.014. Epub 2007 Oct 2.


Porphyromonas gulae is black-pigmented anaerobic bacteria associated with canine periodontitis. There is little information available about the specific identify and relative occurrence of pigmented anaerobes in companion animals. Our aim was to clarify the factor involved in the adherence and colonization of the organism in the oral cavity. Fimbrial protein was purified from P. gulae ATCC 51700. The molecular mass of this protein was approximately 41kDa as estimated by SDS-PAGE. An antibody against 41-kDa fimbrial protein from P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 reacted with fimbrillin of P. gulae ATCC 51700. Immunogold electron microscopy revealed that the anti-41kDa fimbrial serum bound to fimbria on the cell surface of P. gulae ATCC 51700. Thus, fimbrial protein of P. gulae ATCC 51700 had the same size and antigenicity as 41-kDa fimbriae of P. gingivalis ATCC 33277. The nucleotide sequence of the fimA gene from P. gulae ATCC 51700 showed 94% homology with that of P. gingivalis ATCC 33277. Moreover, the deduced amino acid sequences have 96.8% identity. P. gulae has adherent ability to gingival epithelial cells. The properties of P. gulae fimbriae are similar to those of P. gingivalis fimbriae. We suggest that the surface structure of P. gulae may play a role in the colonization of this organism in periodontal pockets in companion animals.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / metabolism
  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / veterinary*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology*
  • Dogs
  • Fimbriae Proteins / chemistry
  • Fimbriae Proteins / genetics
  • Fimbriae Proteins / immunology
  • Fimbriae Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Porphyromonas / genetics*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Antibodies
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • fimbrillin
  • Fimbriae Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB297918