Emended description of Actinomyces naeslundii and descriptions of Actinomyces oris sp. nov. and Actinomyces johnsonii sp. nov., previously identified as Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 1, 2 and WVA 963.
ABSTRACT: Actinomyces naeslundii is an important early colonizer in the oral biofilm and consists of three genospecies (1, 2 and WVA 963) which cannot be readily differentiated using conventional phenotypic testing or on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We have investigated a representative collection of type and reference strains and clinical and oral isolates (n=115) and determined the partial gene sequences of six housekeeping genes (atpA, rpoB, pgi, metG, gltA and gyrA). These sequences identified the three genospecies and differentiated them from Actinomyces viscosus isolated from rodents. The partial sequences of atpA and metG gave best separation of the three genospecies. A. naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 formed two distinct clusters, well separated from both genospecies WVA 963 and A. viscosus. Analysis of the same genes in other oral Actinomyces species (Actinomyces gerencseriae, A. israelii, A. meyeri, A. odontolyticus and A. georgiae) indicated that, when sequence data were obtained, these species each exhibited <90 % similarity with the A. naeslundii genospecies. Based on these data, we propose the name Actinomyces oris sp. nov. (type strain ATCC 27044(T) =CCUG 34288(T)) for A. naeslundii genospecies 2 and Actinomyces johnsonii sp. nov. (type strain ATCC 49338(T) =CCUG 34287(T)) for A. naeslundii genospecies WVA 963. A. naeslundii genospecies 1 should remain as A. naeslundii sensu stricto, with the type strain ATCC 12104(T) =NCTC 10301(T) =CCUG 2238(T).
Project description:Actinomyces spp., predominant members of human oral biofilms, may use extracellular sialidase to promote adhesion, deglycosylate immunoglobulins and liberation of nutrients. Partial nanH gene sequences (1,077 bp) from Actinomyces oris (n=74), Actinomyces naeslundii (n=30), Actinomyces viscosus (n=1) and Actinomyces johnsonii (n=2) which included the active-site region and the bacterial neuraminidase repeats (BNRs) were compared. The sequences were aligned and each species formed a distinct cluster with five isolates having intermediate positions. These five isolates (two A. oris and three A. naeslundii) exhibited interspecies recombination. The nonsynonymous/synonymous ratio was <1 for both A. oris and A. naeslundii indicating that nanH in both species is under stabilizing selective pressure; nonsynonymous mutations are not selected. However, for A. oris significant negative values in tests for neutral selection suggested the rate of mutation in A. oris was greater than in A. naeslundii but with selection against nonsynonymous mutations. This was supported by the observation that the frequency of polymorphic sites in A. oris, which were monomorphic in A. naeslundii was significantly greater than the frequency of polymorphic sites in A. naeslundii which were monomorphic in A. oris (chi(2)=7.011; P=0.00081). The higher proportions of A. oris in the oral biofilm might be explained by the higher mutation rate facilitating an increased ability to respond successfully to environmental stress.
Project description:The ability of Actinomyces naeslundii to convert sucrose to extracellular homopolymers of fructose and to catabolize these types of polymers is suspected to be a virulence trait that contributes to the initiation and progression of dental caries and periodontal diseases. Previously, we reported on the isolation and characterization of the gene, ftf, encoding the fructosyltransferase (FTF) of A. naeslundii WVU45. Allelic exchange mutagenesis was used to inactivate ftf, revealing that FTF-deficient stains were completely devoid of the capacity to produce levan-type (beta2,6-linked) polysaccharides. A polyclonal antibody was raised to a histidine-tagged, purified A. naeslundii FTF, and the antibody was used to localize the enzyme in the supernatant fluid. A sensitive technique was developed to detect levan formation by proteins that had been separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and the method was used to confirm that the levan-synthesizing activity of A. naeslundii existed predominantly in a cell-free form, that a small amount of the activity was cell associated, and that the ftf mutant was unable to produce levans. By using the nucleotide sequence of the levanase gene of a genospecies 2 A. naeslundii, formerly Actinomyces viscosus, a portion of a homologue of this gene (levJ) was amplified by PCR and inserted into a suicide vector, and the resulting construct was used to inactivate the levJ gene in the genospecies 1 strain WVU45. A variety of physiologic and biochemical studies were performed on the wild-type and LevJ-deficient strains to demonstrate that (i) this enzyme was the dominant levanase and sucrase of A. naeslundii; (ii) that LevJ was inducible by growth in sucrose; (iii) that the LevJ activity was found predominantly (>90%) in a cell-associated form; and (iv) that there was a second, fructose-inducible fructan hydrolase activity produced by these strains. The data provide the first detailed molecular analysis of fructan production and catabolism in this abundant and important oral bacterium.
Project description:Oral strains of Actinomyces spp. express type 1 fimbriae, which are composed of major FimP subunits, and bind preferentially to salivary acidic proline-rich proteins (APRPs) or to statherin. We have mapped genetic differences in the fimP subunit genes and the peptide recognition motifs within the host proteins associated with these differential binding specificities. The fimP genes were amplified by PCR from Actinomyces viscosus ATCC 19246, with preferential binding to statherin, and from Actinomyces naeslundii LY7, P-1-K, and B-1-K, with preferential binding to APRPs. The fimP gene from the statherin-binding strain 19246 is novel and has about 80% nucleotide and amino acid sequence identity to the highly conserved fimP genes of the APRP-binding strains (about 98 to 99% sequence identity). The novel FimP protein contains an amino-terminal signal peptide, randomly distributed single-amino-acid substitutions, and structurally different segments and ends with a cell wall-anchoring and a membrane-spanning region. When agarose beads with CNBr-linked host determinant-specific decapeptides were used, A. viscosus 19246 bound to the Thr42Phe43 terminus of statherin and A. naeslundii LY7 bound to the Pro149Gln150 termini of APRPs. Furthermore, while the APRP-binding A. naeslundii strains originate from the human mouth, A. viscosus strains isolated from the oral cavity of rat and hamster hosts showed preferential binding to statherin and contained the novel fimP gene. Thus, A. viscosus and A. naeslundii display structurally variant fimP genes whose protein products are likely to interact with different peptide motifs and to determine animal host tropism.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 express type-2 fimbriae (FimA subunit polymers) with variant Galbeta binding specificities and Actinomyces odontolyticus a sialic acid specificity to colonize different oral surfaces. However, the fimbrial nature of the sialic acid binding property and sequence information about FimA proteins from multiple strains are lacking. RESULTS: Here we have sequenced fimA genes from strains of A.naeslundii genospecies 1 (n = 4) and genospecies 2 (n = 4), both of which harboured variant Galbeta-dependent hemagglutination (HA) types, and from A.odontolyticus PK984 with a sialic acid-dependent HA pattern. Three unique subtypes of FimA proteins with 63.8-66.4% sequence identity were present in strains of A. naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 and A. odontolyticus. The generally high FimA sequence identity (> 97.2%) within a genospecies revealed species specific sequences or segments that coincided with binding specificity. All three FimA protein variants contained a signal peptide, pilin motif, E box, proline-rich segment and an LPXTG sorting motif among other conserved segments for secretion, assembly and sorting of fimbrial proteins. The highly conserved pilin, E box and LPXTG motifs are present in fimbriae proteins from other Gram-positive bacteria. Moreover, only strains of genospecies 1 were agglutinated with type-2 fimbriae antisera derived from A. naeslundii genospecies 1 strain 12104, emphasizing that the overall folding of FimA may generate different functionalities. Western blot analyses with FimA antisera revealed monomers and oligomers of FimA in whole cell protein extracts and a purified recombinant FimA preparation, indicating a sortase-independent oligomerization of FimA. CONCLUSION: The genus Actinomyces involves a diversity of unique FimA proteins with conserved pilin, E box and LPXTG motifs, depending on subspecies and associated binding specificity. In addition, a sortase independent oligomerization of FimA subunit proteins in solution was indicated.
Project description:Actinomyces naeslundii and Actinomyces oris are members of the oral biofilm. Their identification using 16S rRNA sequencing is problematic and better achieved by comparison of metG partial sequences. A. oris is more abundant and more frequently isolated than A. naeslundii. We used a multi-locus sequence typing approach to investigate the genotypic diversity of these species and assigned A. naeslundii (n?=?37) and A. oris (n?=?68) isolates to 32 and 68 sequence types (ST), respectively. Neighbor-joining and ClonalFrame dendrograms derived from the concatenated partial sequences of 7 house-keeping genes identified at least 4 significant subclusters within A. oris and 3 within A. naeslundii. The strain collection we had investigated was an under-representation of the total population since at least 3 STs composed of single strains may represent discrete clusters of strains not well represented in the collection. The integrity of these sub-clusters was supported by the sequence analysis of fimP and fimA, genes coding for the type 1 and 2 fimbriae, respectively. An A. naeslundii subcluster was identified with both fimA and fimP genes and these strains were able to bind to MUC7 and statherin while all other A. naeslundii strains possessed only fimA and did not bind to statherin. An A. oris subcluster harboured a fimA gene similar to that of Actinomyces odontolyticus but no detectable fimP failed to bind significantly to either MUC7 or statherin. These data are evidence of extensive genotypic and phenotypic diversity within the species A. oris and A. naeslundii but the status of the subclusters identified here will require genome comparisons before their phylogenic position can be unequivocally established.
Project description:The oral bacteria Actinomyces naeslundii and Actinomyces viscosus are known to contribute to the initiation and progression of human dental caries, especially root caries. We report that both A. naeslundii and A. viscosus react with a component in the Gardenia jasminoides extract to produce a distinct green product. This green color reaction was found to be dependent on the bacterial beta-glucosidase. The reaction is specific for cariogenic actinomyces, and it can detect as few as 10(4) cells of A. naeslundii and A. viscosus per ml.
Project description:Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 bind to acidic proline-rich proteins (APRPs) and statherin via type 1 fimbriae and to beta-linked galactosamine (GalNAcbeta) structures via type 2 fimbriae. In addition, A. naeslundii displays two types of binding specificity for both APRPs-statherin and GalNAcbeta, while Actinomyces odontolyticus binds to unknown structures. To study the molecular basis for these binding specificities, DNA fragments spanning the entire or central portions of fimP (type 1) and fimA (type 2) fimbrial subunit genes were amplified by PCR from strains of genospecies 1 and 2 and hybridized with DNA from two independent collections of oral Actinomyces isolates. Isolates of genospecies 1 and 2 and A. odontolyticus, but no other Actinomyces species, were positive for hybridization with fimP and fimA full-length probes irrespective of binding to APRPs and statherin, GalNAcbeta, or unknown structures. Isolates of genospecies 1 and 2, with deviating patterns of GalNAcbeta1-3Galalpha-O-ethyl-inhibitable coaggregation with Streptococcus oralis Ss34 and MPB1, were distinguished by a fimA central probe from genospecies 1 and 2, respectively. Furthermore, isolates of genospecies 1 and 2 displaying preferential binding to APRPs over statherin were positive with a fimP central probe, while a genospecies 2 strain with the opposite binding preference was not. The sequences of fimP and fimA central gene segments were highly conserved among isolates with the same, but diversified between those with a variant, binding specificity. In conclusion, A. naeslundii exhibits variant fimP and fimA genes corresponding to diverse APRP and GalNAcbeta specificities, respectively, while A. odontolyticus has a genetically related but distinct adhesin binding specificity.
Project description:Actinomyces spp. exhibit type 1 fimbria-mediated adhesion to salivary acidic proline-rich proteins (PRPs) and statherin ligands. Actinomyces spp. with different animal and tissue origins belong to three major adhesion types as relates to ligand specificity and type 1 fimbria genes. (i) In preferential acidic-PRP binding, strains of Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 1 and 2 from human and monkey mouths displayed at least three ligand specificities characterized by preferential acidic-PRP binding. Slot blot DNA hybridization showed seven highly conserved type 1 fimbria genes (orf1- to -6 and fimP) in genospecies 1 and 2 strains, except that orf5 and orf3 were divergent in genospecies 1. (ii) In preferential statherin binding, oral Actinomyces viscosus strains of rat and hamster origin (and strain 19246 from a human case of actinomycosis) bound statherin preferentially. DNA hybridization and characterization of the type 1 fimbria genes from strain 19246 revealed a homologous gene cluster of four open reading frames (orfA to -C and fimP). Bioinformatics suggested sortase (orfB, orf4, and part of orf5), prepilin peptidase (orfC and orf6), fimbria subunit (fimP), and usher- and autotransporter-like (orfA and orf1 to -3) functions. Those gene regions corresponding to orf3 and orf5 were divergent, those corresponding to orf2, orf1, and fimP were moderately conserved, and those corresponding to orf4 and orf6 were highly conserved. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses using a fimP probe separated human and monkey and rat and hamster strains into phylogenetically different groups. (iii) In statherin-specific binding, strains of A. naeslundii genospecies 1 from septic and other human infections displayed a low-avidity binding to statherin. Only the orf4 and orf6 gene regions were highly conserved. Finally, rat saliva devoid of statherin bound bacterial strains avidly irrespective of ligand specificity, and specific antisera detected either type 1, type 2, or both types of fimbria on the investigated Actinomyces strains.
Project description:The nucleotide sequence of the chromosomal DNA flanking the Actinomyces naeslundii (formerly A. viscosus) T14V type 1 fimbrial structural subunit gene (fimP) was determined. Six open reading frames (ORFs), in the order 5' ORF3, ORF2, ORF1,fimP, ORF4, ORF5, ORF6 3', were identified. ORF1 encoded a protein of 408 amino acid residues (Mr = 39,270) and had significant sequence homology with the A. naeslundii T14V type 1 and A. naeslundii WVU45 type 2 fimbrial structural subunits. An in-frame fusion of ORF1 to the malE gene of the expression vector, pMAL-c2, yielded a protein that was immunostained with antibodies raised against the maltose binding protein and A. naeslundii T14V whole bacteria. Digestion of the fusion protein with factor Xa released a protein (apparent molecular mass of 34 kDa) that was immunostained only with the antibody directed against A. naeslundii T14V whole bacterial cells. Integration plasmids carrying a kanamycin resistance gene (kan) that was used to substitute for ORF1 or for DNA fragments internal to the coding region of the other five ORFs were used to transform A. naeslundii T14V. Neither type 1 fimbriae nor the 65-kDa fimbrial structural subunit was detected in mutants obtained by allelic replacement of ORF1 or ORF2. Mutants obtained by allelic replacement of ORF3 or ORF4 expressed only the 65-kDa fimbrial structural subunit. These mutants did not bind, in vitro, to proline-rich proteins that serve as the receptors for Actinomyces type 1 fimbriae. In contrast, a mutant in which the integration plasmid DNA had been inserted at a site close to the carboxyl terminus of ORF6 expressed type 1 fimbriae and had adherence properties similar to those observed in the wild-type strain. These results demonstrate the existence of additional genes near fimP that are likely to be involved in the synthesis and function of cell surface fimbriae of A. naeslundii T14V.
Project description:The hydrolysis of urea by ureases of oral bacteria in dental plaque can cause a considerable increase in plaque pH, which can inhibit the development of dental caries. There is also indirect evidence that urea metabolism may promote the formation of calculus and that ammonia release from urea could exacerbate periodontal diseases. Actinomyces naeslundii, an early colonizer of the oral cavity and a numerically significant plaque constituent, demonstrates comparatively low levels of urease activity on isolation, so this organism has not been considered a major contributor to total oral urease activity. In this study it was observed that urease activity and urease-specific mRNA levels in A. naeslundii WVU45 can increase up to 50-fold during growth under nitrogen-limiting conditions. Using primer extension analysis, a putative, proximal, nitrogen-regulated promoter of the A. naeslundii urease gene cluster was identified. The functionality and nitrogen responsiveness of this promoter were confirmed using reporter gene fusions and 5' deletion analysis. The data indicated that regulation of urease expression by nitrogen availability in A. naeslundii may require a positive transcriptional activator. Plaque bacteria may experience nitrogen limitation when carbohydrates are present in excess. Therefore, based on the results of this study and in contrast to previous beliefs, strains of A. naeslundii may have the potential to be significant contributors to total plaque ureolysis, particularly during periods when there is an increased risk for caries development.