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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structural and antigenic types of cell wall polysaccharides from viridans group streptococci with receptors for oral actinomyces and streptococcal lectins.

Lectin-mediated interactions between oral viridans group streptococci and actinomyces may play an important role in microbial colonization of the tooth surface. The presence of two host-like motifs, either GalNAc beta1-->3Gal (Gn) or Gal beta1-->3GalNAc (G), in the cell wall polysaccharides of five streptococcal strains accounts for the lactose-sensitive coaggregations of these bacteria with Actinomyces naeslundii. Three streptococcal strains which have Gn-containing polysaccharides also participate in GalNAc-sensitive coaggregations with strains of Streptococcus gordonii and S. sanguis. Each Gn- or G-containing polysaccharide is composed of a distinct phosphodiester-linked hexa- or heptasaccharide repeating unit. The occurrence of these polysaccharides on 19 additional viridans group streptococcal strains that participate in lactose-sensitive coaggregations with actinomyces was examined. Negatively charged polysaccharides that reacted with Bauhinia purpurea agglutinin, a Gal and GalNAc binding plant lectin, were isolated from 17 strains by anion exchange column chromatography of mutanolysin-cell wall digests. Results from nuclear magnetic resonance and immunodiffusion identified each of 16 polysaccharides as a known Gn- or G-containing structural type and one polysaccharide as a new but closely related Gn-containing type. Unlike the reactions of lectins, the cross-reactions of most rabbit antisera with these polysaccharides were correlated with structural features other than the host-like motifs. Gn-containing polysaccharides occurred primarily on the strains of S. sanguis and S. oralis while G-containing polysaccharides were more common among the strains of S. gordonii and S. mitis examined. The findings strongly support the hypothesis that lectin-mediated recognition of these streptococci by other oral bacteria depends on a family of antigenically diverse Gn- and G-containing cell wall polysaccharides, the occurrence of which may differ between streptococcal species.[1]


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