Oxygen dependent pyruvate oxidase expression and production in Streptococcus sanguinis

Lan Yan Zheng, Andreas Itzek, Zhi Yun Chen, Jens Kreth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to characterize the oxygen dependent regulation of pyruvate oxidase (SpxB) gene expression and protein production in Streptococcus sanguinis (S. sanguinis). SpxB is responsible for the generation of growthinhibiting amounts of hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2) able to antagonize cariogenic Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). Furthermore, the ecological consequence of H 2 O 2 production was investigated in its selfinhibiting ability towards the producing strain. Expression of spxB was determined with quantitative RealTime RTPCR and a fluorescent expression reporter strain. Protein abundance was investigated with FLAG epitope engineered in frame on the Cterminal end of SpxB. Self inhibition was tested with an antagonism plate assay. The expression and protein abundance decreased in cells grown under anaerobic conditions. S. sanguinis was resistant against its own produced H 2 O 2, while cariogenic S. mutans was inhibited in its growth. The results suggest that S. sanguinis produces H 2 O 2 as antimicrobial substance to inhibit susceptible niche competing species like S. mutans during initial biofilm formation, when oxygen availability allows for spxB expression and Spx production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oral Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Streptococcus sanguinis
  • oxygen dependent
  • pyruvate oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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