The incidence of cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis,
is increasing alarmingly. Clarifying the underlying causes is of the utmost importance and should
be elucidated in order to reduce this growing trend. Periodontitis is known as a chronic destructive disease
with sophisticated pathophysiological mechanisms that slowly impose negative effects not only on
the oral tissues but also on distant organs. Additionally, it has been shown in many studies that atherosclerosis
and periodontitis utilized common inflammatory signaling pathways and mediators. Several
lines of evidence have demonstrated the signatures of periodontitis-related bacteria in atherosclerotic
plaque specimens. It is proposed that virulent proteins of these bacteria probably accelerate the initiation
or development of plaque formation on the inner walls of the coronary arteries. Proteomics techniques
are very sensitive and have a global point of view. They can help to discover host factors and pathogenrelated
biomarkers. This review summarizes the studies focused on the three most important bacterial
species involved in both diseases and presents recent findings about the proteomic evaluation of virulence
factors of these bacteria. The known mechanisms of action of the virulence factors are also described.
Keywords: Proteomics, bacterial infection, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, 2-dimensional electrophoresis, virulence factor.
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