Cross-Kingdom Cell-to-Cell Interactions in Cariogenic Biofilm Initiation.
ABSTRACT: Candida albicans is known to form polymicrobial biofilms with various Streptococcus spp., including mitis and mutans group streptococci. Streptococcus gordonii (mitis group) has been shown to bind avidly to C. albicans hyphae via direct cell-to-cell interaction, while the cariogenic pathogen Streptococcus mutans (mutans group) interacts with the fungal cells via extracellular glucans. However, the biophysical properties of these cross-kingdom interactions at the single-cell level during the early stage of biofilm formation remain understudied. Here, we examined the binding forces between S. mutans (or S. gordonii) and C. albicans in the presence and absence of in situ glucans on the fungal surface using single-cell atomic force microscopy and their influence on biofilm initiation and subsequent development under cariogenic conditions. The data show that S. gordonii binding force to the C. albicans surface is significantly higher than that ofS. mutans to the fungal surface (~2-fold). However, S. mutans binding forces are dramatically enhanced when the C. albicans cell surface is locally coated with extracellular glucans (~6-fold vs. uncoated C. albicans), which vastly exceeds the forces between S. gordonii andC. albicans. The enhanced binding affinity of S. mutans to glucan-coated C. albicans resulted in a larger structure during early biofilm initiation compared to S. gordonii-C. albicans biofilms. Ultimately, this resulted in S. mutans dominance composition in the 3-species biofilm model under cariogenic conditions. This study provides a novel biophysical aspect of Candida-streptococcal interaction whereby extracellular glucans may selectively favor S. mutans binding interactions with C. albicans during cariogenic biofilm development.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC7755950 | BioStudies |