Quantitative proteomics uncovers the interaction between a virulence factor and mutanobactin synthetases in Streptococcus mutans

Academic Article


  • Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiological agent of tooth decay, has developed multiple adhesion and virulence factors which enable it to colonize and compete with other bacteria. The putative glycosyltransferase SMU_833 is important for the virulence of S. mutans by altering the biofilm matrix composition and cariogenicity. In this study, we further characterized the smu_833 mutant by evaluating its effects on bacterial fitness. Loss of SMU_833 led to extracellular DNA-dependent bacterial aggregation. In addition, the mutant was more susceptible to oxidative stress and less competitive against H2O2 producing oral streptococci. Quantitative proteomics analysis revealed that SMU_833 deficiency resulted in the significant downregulation of 10 proteins encoded by a biosynthetic gene cluster responsible for the production of mutanobactin, a compound produced by S. mutans which helps it survive oxidative stress. Tandem affinity purification demonstrated that SMU_833 interacts with the synthetic enzymes responsible for the production of mutanobactin. Similar to the smu_833 mutant, the deletion of the mutanobactin gene cluster rendered the mutant less competitive against H2O2-producing streptococci. Our studies revealed a new link between SMU_833 virulence and mutanobactin, suggesting that SMU_833 represents a new virulent target that can be used to develop potential anticaries therapeutics.
  • Published In

  • mSphere  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rainey K; Wilson L; Barnes S; Wu H
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 5