A Streptococcus mutans mutant defective in aciduricity was constructed by random-insertion mutagenesis. Sequence analysis of the mutant revealed a mutation in gidA, which is known to be involved in tRNA modification in Streptococcus pyogenes. Complementation of gidA by S. pyogenes gidA recovered the acid tolerance of S. mutans. Although the gidA-inactivated S. pyogenes mutant exhibited significantly reduced expression of multiple extracellular virulence proteins, the S. mutans mutant did not. On the other hand, the gidA mutant of S. mutans showed reduced ability to withstand exposure to other stress conditions (high osmotic pressure, high temperature, and bacitracin stress) besides an acidic environment. In addition, loss of GidA decreased the capacity for glucose-dependent biofilm formation by over 50%. This study revealed that gidA plays critical roles in the survival of S. mutans under stress conditions, including lower pH.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology