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ISSN : 1226-7155(Print)
ISSN : 2287-6618(Online)
International Journal of Oral Biology Vol.30 No.1 pp.31-37

Functional Characterization of the Major Surface Protein of Treponema maltophilum in Human Gingival Fibroblasts

Bong-Kyu Choi, Lee Sung-Hoon
Department of Oromaxillofacial Infection and Immunity College of Dentistry, Seoul National University


Treponema maltophilum, a Group IV oral spirochete, is associated with periodontitis and endodontic infections. In this study we analyzed the functional role of the major surface protein of this organism (MspA) in human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs). The full-length gene encoding MspA was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli by using the expression vector pQE-30. The recombinant protein (rMspA) was purified by affinity chromatography with nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid agarose and possible contamination of E. coli endotoxin in rMspA was removed by using polymyxin B-agarose. rMspA significantly induced the expression of pro inflammatory cytokines like IL-6 and IL-8 and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 in HGFs, when analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR, flow cytometry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Our results indicate that MspA of T. maltophilum may play an important role in amplifying the local immune response by upregulating the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and ICAM-1.