Peptide pheromone induced cell death of Streptococcus mutans

Fengxia Qi, J. Kreth, Celine M. Lévesque, Olga Kay, Richard W. Mair, Wenyuan Shi, Dennis G. Cvitkovitch, Steven D. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Streptococcus mutans is considered one of the main causative agents of human dental caries. Cell-cell communication through two-component signal transduction systems (TCSTS) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of S. mutans. One of the S. mutans TCSTS, ComDE, controls both competence development and biofilm formation. In this study, we showed that addition of exogenous competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) beyond the levels necessary for competence inhibited the growth of S. mutans in a ComDE-dependent manner. We also demonstrated that further increases of CSP stopped S. mutans cell division leading to cell death. Use of CSP as a possible therapeutic agent is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilms
  • Competence stimulating peptide
  • Mutans
  • Programmed cell death
  • Streptococcus mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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