Salivary amylase promotes adhesion of oral streptococci to hydroxyapatite

J Dent Res. 1995 Jul;74(7):1360-6. doi: 10.1177/00220345950740070701.


Recent studies have demonstrated that several species of oral streptococci, such as Streptococcus gordonii, bind soluble salivary alpha-amylase. The goal of the present study was to determine if amylase immobilized onto a surface such as hydroxyapatite can serve as an adhesion receptor for S. gordonii. Initially, human parotid saliva was fractionated on Bio-Gel P60, and fractions were screened for their ability to promote adhesion of S. gordonii to hydroxyapatite. Fractions containing alpha-amylase and proline-rich proteins promoted the adhesion of [3H]-labeled S. gordonii to hydroxyapatite. Similar findings were obtained with purified amylase and acidic proline-rich protein 1 (PRP1). Incubation of S. gordonii G9B in the presence of starch and maltotriose increased the binding of this strain to amylase-coated hydroxyapatite, while the adhesion of S. sanguis 10556 to amylase-coated hydroxyapatite was not affected by these saccharides. These results suggest that amylase may serve as a hydroxyapatite pellicle receptor for amylase-binding streptococci. Furthermore, starch and starch metabolites may enhance the adhesion of amylase-binding streptococci to amylase in dental pellicles to augment the formation of dental plaque.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Amylases / analysis
  • Amylases / isolation & purification
  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Amylases / pharmacology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Dental Pellicle
  • Durapatite / metabolism*
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / analysis
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / isolation & purification
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / metabolism
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Receptors, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Saliva / enzymology*
  • Streptococcus / metabolism
  • Streptococcus / pathogenicity*
  • Streptococcus sanguis / metabolism
  • Streptococcus sanguis / pathogenicity


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Enzymes, Immobilized
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • bacterial adhesin receptor
  • Durapatite
  • Amylases