Biochemical characterization of a recombinant Lactobacillus acidophilus strain expressing exogenous FomA protein

Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Aug;92:25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2018.04.016. Epub 2018 Apr 30.


In previous research, to combine the immunogenicity of Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) and the probiotic properties of Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus), we constructed a FomA-expressing L. acidophilus strain and assessed its immunogenicity. Our findings indicated that oral administration of the recombinant L. acidophilus strain reduced the risk of periodontal infection by Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and F. nucleatum. However, because the exogenous FomA is an heterologous protein for the original bacterium, in this study, we assessed whether the biochemical characteristics of the recombinant L. acidophilus strain change due to the expression of the exogenous FomA protein.

Objectives: To test the biochemical characteristics of a recombinant L. acidophilus strain expressing exogenous FomA and assess its antibiotic sensitivity.

Designs: We assessed the colony morphology, growth, acid production, and carbohydrate fermentation abilities of the recombinant L. acidophilus strain. In addition, we tested the adhesive ability and antimicrobial activity of the recombinant and assessed its antibiotic sensitivity through a drug susceptibility test.

Results: The experimental results showed that the colony and microscopic morphology of the recombinant L. acidophilus strain was consistent with the original strain, and the recombinant strain grew well when cultured under aerobic or anaerobic conditions, exhibiting a growth rate that was identical to that of the standard strain. Similarly, the supernatants of the recombinant L. acidophilus can inhibit the growth of E. coli and P. gingivalis at different concentrations, and the recombinant strain displayed essentially the same drug sensitivity profile as the original L. acidophilus. However, to our surprise, the recombinant strains exhibited a greater adhesion ability than the reference strain.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that, in addition to an increased adhesion ability, the recombinant L. acidophilus strain maintained the basic characteristics of the standard strain ATCC 4356, including antibiotic sensitivity. Thus, the recombinant strains have great potential to be utilized as a safe and effective periodontitis vaccine in the future.

Keywords: Adhesion; Biochemical characteristics; FomA protein; Fusobacterium nucleatum; Lactobacillus acidophilus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects
  • Bacterial Adhesion / immunology
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / drug effects
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / immunology
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / prevention & control
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / therapy*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Erythromycin / pharmacology
  • Fusobacterium Infections / immunology
  • Fusobacterium Infections / prevention & control
  • Fusobacterium Infections / therapy*
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / immunology
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / pathogenicity
  • Glycolysis
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / drug effects
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / immunology
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / metabolism*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / immunology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / pathogenicity
  • Probiotics / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • fomA protein, Fusobacterium
  • Erythromycin