High production of methyl mercaptan by L-methionine-α-deamino- γ-mercaptomethane lyase from Treponema denticola

Haruka Fukamachi, Yoshio Nakano, Soichiro Okano, Yasuko Shibata, Yoshimitsu Abiko, Yoshihisa Yamashita

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Methyl mercaptan is derived from l-methionine by the action of l-methionine-α-deamino-γ-mercaptomethane lyase (METase) and is a major component of oral malodor. This compound is highly toxic and is thought to play an important role in periodontal disease. We found that Treponema denticola, a member of the subgingival biofilm at periodontal disease sites, produced a large amount of methyl mercaptan even at low concentration of l-methionine. METase activity in a cell-free extract from T. denticola was detected by two-dimensional electrophoresis under non-denaturing conditions, and the protein spot that exhibited high METase activity was identified using a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The identified gene produced a METase with a Km value for l-methionine (0.55 mM) that is much lower than those of METases previously identified in the other organisms. This result suggests that T. denticola is an important producer of methyl mercaptan in the subgingival biofilm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 27 2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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