Role of Streptococcus mutans surface proteins for biofilm formation

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125 Citations (Scopus)


Streptococcus mutans has been implicated as a primary causative agent of dental caries in humans. An important virulence property of the bacterium is its ability to form biofilm known as dental plaque on tooth surfaces. In addition, this organism also produces glucosyltransferases, multiple glucan-binding proteins, protein antigen c, and collagen-binding protein, surface proteins that coordinate to produce dental plaque, thus inducing dental caries. Bacteria utilize quorum-sensing systems to modulate environmental stress responses. A major mechanism of response to signals is represented by the so called two-component signal transduction system, which enables bacteria to regulate their gene expression and coordinate activities in response to environmental stress. As for S. mutans, a signal peptide-mediated quorum-sensing system encoded by comCDE has been found to be a regulatory system that responds to cell density and certain environmental stresses by excreting a peptide signal molecule termed CSP (competence-stimulating peptide). One of its principal virulence factors is production of bacteriocins (peptide antibiotics) referred to as mutacins. Two-component signal transduction systems are commonly utilized by bacteria to regulate bacteriocin gene expression and are also related to biofilm formation by S. mutans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Dental Science Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Biofilm
  • Signal transduction
  • Streptococcus mutans
  • Surface proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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