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In a previous study, a quorum-sensing signaling system essential for genetic competence in Streptococcus mutans was identified, characterized, and found to function optimally in biofilms (Li et al., J. Bacteriol. 183:897-908, 2001). Here, we demonstrate that this system also plays a role in the ability of S. mutans to initiate biofilm formation. To test(More)
We present bacterial biogeography as sampled from the human gastrointestinal tract of four healthy subjects. This study generated >32 million paired-end sequences of bacterial 16S rRNA genes (V3 region) representing >95,000 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 97% similarity clusters), with >99% Good's coverage for all samples. The highest OTU richness(More)
Two-component systems (TCSs) are important for the adaptation and survival of bacteria and fungi under stress conditions. A TCS is often composed of a membrane-bound sensor histidine kinase (SK) and a response regulator (RR), which are relayed through sequential phosphorylation steps. However, the mechanism for how an SK is switched on in response to(More)
Streptococcus mutans is the principal acidogenic component of dental plaque that demineralizes tooth enamel, leading to dental decay. Cell-associated glucosyltransferases catalyze the sucrose-dependent synthesis of sticky glucan polymers that, together with glucan binding proteins, promote S. mutans adherence to teeth and cell aggregation. We generated an(More)
Streptococcus mutans JH1000 and its derivatives were previously shown (J. D. Hillman, K. P. Johnson, and B. I. Yaphe, Infect. Immun. 44:141-144, 1984) to produce a low-molecular-weight, broad-spectrum bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance (BLIS). The thermosensitive vector pTV1-OK harboring Tn917 was used to isolate a BLIS-deficient mutant, DM25, and the(More)
Streptococcus mutans, a major acidogenic component of the dental plaque biofilm, has a key role in caries etiology. Previously, we demonstrated that the VicRK two-component signal transduction system modulates biofilm formation, oxidative stress and acid tolerance responses in S. mutans. Using in vitro phosphorylation assays, here we demonstrate for the(More)
In the cariogenic organism, Streptococcus mutans, low pH induces an acid tolerance response (ATR). To identify acid-regulated proteins comprising the ATR, transposon mutagenesis with the thermosensitive plasmid pGh9:ISS1 was used to produce clones that were able to grow at neutral pH, but not in medium at pH 5.0. Sequence analysis of one mutant (IS1A)(More)
Autoinducer 2 (AI-2) is the only species-nonspecific autoinducer known in bacteria and is produced by both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. Consequently, it is proposed to function as a universal quorum-sensing signal for interaction between bacterial species. AI-2 is produced as the by-product of a metabolic transformation carried out by the LuxS(More)
In many streptococci, including Streptococcus mutans, genetic competence is regulated by a quorum sensing system mediated by a competence stimulating peptide (CSP) pheromone, encoded by the comC gene. In Streptococcus pneumoniae, a central component of this system is ComX, which acts as an alternative sigma factor to activate competence genes involved in(More)
In Streptococcus mutans, ComX, an alternative sigma factor, drives the transcription of the 'late-competence genes' required for genetic transformation. ComX activity is modulated by inputs from two signaling pathways, ComDE and ComRS, that respond to the competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) and the SigX-inducing peptide (XIP), respectively. In particular,(More)