Hemin-induced modifications of the antigenicity and hemin-binding capacity of Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide

Christopher W. Cutler, Paul I. Eke, Caroline A. Genco, Thomas E. Van Dyke, Roland R. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that the physical, biochemical, and antigenic properties of the bacterial outer membrane are profoundly influenced by the growth environment. In the present study, the effects of growth in hemin- replete (H+) and hemin-depleted (H-) media on the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis were investigated. Our studies show that LPS from P. gingivalis cultured in H+ media (H+LPS) expressed additional low-molecular-mass antigens, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot (immunoblot) analysis. Particularly evident was a 26-kDa antigen (26 LPSC) that was lost from the LPS upon transfer of P. gingivalis into H- media. The loss of the 26 LPSC was accompanied by a marked reduction in the heroin-binding capacity of the LPS. The 26 LPSC was refractory to Coomassie blue staining and proteinase K digestion. H+LPS from strain W50/BE1, a nonpigmented pleiotropic strain, lacked the 26 LPSC and did not bind hemin. Polyclonal antiserum raised to whole-cell antigens of P. gingivalis A7436, W83, and HG405 grown in H+ media, but not in H- media, recognized the 26 LPSC in the purified H+ LPS from any of the three strains. The immunoreactivities of sera from humans with (n = 24) or without (n = 25) periodontitis to the 26 LPSC and other H+LPS determinants were analyzed by Western blot. Overall, 75% of adult periodontitis patient sera reacted with multiple bands in the H+LPS stepladder, particularly in the range of 14 to 27 kDa. In contrast, only 20% of control sera reacted faintly with H+LPS bands in the range 27 to 34 kDa. The 26 LPSC was recognized by over 40% of sera from adult patients with periodontitis and none of the healthy control sera. Taken together, these results suggest that the antigenicity and hemin-binding properties of P. gingivalis LPS can be modified by growth in H+ media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2282-2287
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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