Porphyromonas gingivalis induce apoptosis in human gingival epithelial cells through a gingipain-dependent mechanism.

Center for Oral Health and Systemic Disease, School of Dentistry, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.
BMC Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.98). 02/2009; 9:107. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-9-107
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to modulate apoptosis in different cell types, but its effect on epithelial cells remains unclear.
We demonstrate that primary human gingival epithelial cells (HGECs) challenged with live P. gingivalis for 24 hours exhibit apoptosis, and we characterize this by M30 epitope detection, caspase-3 activity, DNA fragmentation and Annexin-V staining. Live bacteria strongly upregulated intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. Pro-apoptotic molecules such as caspase-3, -8, -9, Bid and Bax were upregulated after 24 hours. The anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 was also upregulated, but this was not sufficient to ensure cell survival. The main P. gingivalis proteases arginine and lysine gingipains are necessary and sufficient to induce host cell apoptosis. Thus, live P. gingivalis can invoke gingival epithelial cell apoptosis in a time and dose dependent manner with significant apoptosis occurring between 12 and 24 hours of challenge via a gingipain-dependent mechanism.
The present study provides evidence that live, but not heat-killed, P. gingivalis can induce apoptosis after 24 hours of challenge in primary human gingival epithelial cells. Either arginine or lysine gingipains are necessary and sufficient factors in P. gingivalis elicited apoptosis.

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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is a highly controlled process of cell death that can be induced by periodontopathogens. The present study aimed to investigate the expression of Fas and Bcl-2 proteins by CD3+ T cells in vitro under stimulation by total Porphyromonas gingivalis antigens and purified recombinant P. gingivalis HmuY protein. CD3+ T cells derived from CP patients and stimulated with HmuY expressed higher levels of Bcl-2 compared to identical cells stimulated with P. gingivalis crude extract or cells derived from NP control subjects (p = 0.043). The authors hypothesize that P. gingivalis HmuY plays a role in the pathogenesis of chronic periodontitis, possibly by reducing or delaying apoptosis in T cells through a pathway involving the Bcl-2 protein.
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    ABSTRACT: Periodontitis is a common chronic inflammatory disease that is initiated by a complex microbial biofilm that poses significant health and financial burdens globally. Porphyromonas gingivalis is a predominant pathogen that maintains chronic inflammatory periodontitis. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play an important role in periodontitis by recognizing pathogens and maintaining tissue homeostasis. Deficiencies in TLR expression and downstream signaling may reduce the host's innate defenses against pathogens, leading to bacterial persistence and exacerbated inflammation, which are now being better appreciated in disease pathologies. In the case of periodontitis, gingival epithelial cells form the first line of defense against pathogens. Innate immune dysregulation in these cells relates to severe disease pathology. We recently identified a blunted TLR2 expression in certain gingival epithelial cells expressing diminished cytokine signaling upon P. gingivalis stimulation. Upon detailed analysis of the TLR2 promoter CpG Island, we noted higher CpG methylation in this dysregulated cell type. When these cells were treated with DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, TLR2 mRNA and cytokine expression were significantly increased. If TLR2 expression plasmid was ectopically expressed in dysfunctional cells prior to P. gingivalis stimulation, the cytokine expression was increased, confirming the requirement of TLR2 in the P. gingivalis-mediated inflammatory response. We designed a chronic in vitro infection model to test if P. gingivalis can induce DNA methylation in normal gingival epithelial cells that express higher TLR2 upon agonist stimulation. Chronic treatment of normal epithelial cells with P. gingivalis introduced de novo DNA methylation within the cells. In addition, increased DNA methylation was observed in the gingiva of mice infected with P. gingivalis in a periodontitis oral gavage model. Moreover, tissues obtained from periodontitis patients also exhibited differential TLR2 promoter methylation, as revealed by bisulfite DNA sequencing. Taken together, DNA methylation of TLR2 can modulate host innate defense mechanisms that may confer increased disease susceptibility.
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