Among the crowd of bacteria provoking disease of the oral cavity during the
weakened of immune system, Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis are
the main microorganisms implicated in caries formation and periodontitis, respectively.
The life cycle of the pathogens, such as protozoa, fungi and bacteria, is influenced by a superfamily of enzymes,
called carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 188.8.131.52). These metalloenzymes, being crucial for the survival of the pathogen, have
been considered as novel anti-infective targets. In fact, bicarbonate and protons, produced by the CA catalyzed carbon dioxide
as substrate, are two fundamental ions implicated in the pH regulation, biosynthetic reactions, and adaptation of the
pathogen to the host or in the possibility of the pathogen to avoid the host immune system. Bacteria genome encodes for
the α-, β- and γ-CAs. Recently, our groups using the recombinant DNA technology prepared and characterized the CAs
belonging to the β- and γ-classes encoded by the genome of the two oral cavity pathogens S. mutans and P. gingivalis. An
extensive inhibition study was carried out using typical anion/sulfonamide inhibitors of these classes of CAs. We discovered
numerous inhibitors, which had in vitro an effective inhibitory activity against the bacterial CAs considered, here, as
alternative anti-infective targets..