1887

Abstract

A major aetiological factor of dental caries is the pathology of the dental plaque biofilms. The amino acid -arginine (Arg) is found naturally in saliva as a free molecule or as a part of salivary peptides and proteins. Plaque bacteria metabolize Arg to produce alkali and neutralize glycolytic acids, promoting a less cariogenous oral microbiome. Here, we explored an alternative and complementary mechanism of action of Arg using atomic force microscopy. The nanomechanical properties of biofilm extracellular matrix were characterized under physiological buffer conditions. We report the effect of Arg on the adhesive behaviour and structural properties of extracellular polysaccharides in biofilms. High-resolution imaging of biofilm surfaces can reveal additional structural information on bacterial cells embedded within the surrounding extracellular matrix. A dense extracellular matrix was observed in biofilms without Arg compared to those grown in the presence of Arg. biofilms grown in the presence of Arg could influence the production and/or composition of extracellular membrane glucans and thereby affect their adhesion properties. Our results suggest that the presence of Arg in the oral cavity could influence the adhesion properties of to the tooth surface.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics Satellite (MANA)
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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.075267-0
2014-07-01
2021-10-17
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