Immunization of rats with synthetic peptide constructs from the glucan-binding or catalytic region of mutans streptococcal glucosyltransferase protects against dental caries.Infect Immun 1995; 63(8):3088-93II
Previously, we have described peptide constructs from two regions of glucosyltransferase (GTF) of mutans streptococci. A putative catalytic site in the amino-terminal half of the molecule and a repeated glucan-binding site in the carboxyl-terminal half of GTF were the regions upon which sequences were based. The present study explored the effects of immunization with these peptide constructs (called CAT or GLU) and with streptococcal GTFs from Streptococcus sobrinus and S. mutans on immunological, microbiological, and disease parameters. Groups of immunized Sprague-Dawley rats were infected with either 10(8) S. sobrinus 6715 or 10(8) S. mutans SJ32 organisms. Serum immunoglobulin G antibody levels, determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, to the respective peptide constructs and to the appropriate streptococcal GTF were significantly increased (after immunization) prior to infection and at the end of the experiment. Also, serum antibody from CAT-, GLU-, and S. sobrinus GTF-immunized rats inhibited S. sobrinus GTF-mediated insoluble glucan synthesis (all) and S. mutans GTF-mediated soluble glucan synthesis (all except anti-GLU) from sucrose. Immunization with the CAT or GLU peptide construct resulted in significantly reduced smooth surface and sulcal caries after infection with S. sobrinus. Sulcal dental caries after infection with S. mutans SJ32 were also significantly reduced in CAT- and GLU-immunized rats. Thus, immunization with peptides whose sequences are based on putative functional domains of mutans streptococcal GTF are protective toward a cariogenic S. sobrinus or S. mutans infection.