Porphyromonas gingivalis is a Gram-negative anaerobe that populates the subgingival crevice of the mouth. It is known to undergo a transition from its commensal status in healthy individuals to a highly invasive intracellular pathogen in human patients suffering from periodontal disease, where it is often the dominant species of pathogenic bacteria. The application of mass spectrometry-based proteomics to the study of P. gingivalis interactions with model host cell systems, invasion and pathogenicity is reviewed. These studies have evolved from qualitative identifications of small numbers of secreted proteins, using traditional gel-based methods, to quantitative whole cell proteomic studies using multiple dimension capillary HPLC coupled with linear ion trap mass spectrometry. It has become possible to generate a differential readout of protein expression change over the entire P. gingivalis proteome, in a manner analogous to whole genome mRNA arrays. Different strategies have been employed for generating protein level expression ratios from mass spectrometry data, including stable isotope metabolic labeling and most recently, spectral counting methods. A global view of changes in protein modification status remains elusive due to the limitations of existing computational tools for database searching and data mining. Such a view would be desirable for purposes of making global assessments of changes in gene regulation in response to host interactions during the course of adhesion, invasion and internalization. With a complete data matrix consisting of changes in transcription, protein abundance and protein modification during the course of invasion, the search for new protein drug targets would benefit from a more comprehensive understanding of these processes than what could be achieved prior to the advent of systems biology.
Keywords: Porphyromonas gingivalis, gingival epithelial cells, proteomics, posttranslational modification, protein expression, invasion, database search algorithm, review, MudPIT
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport