Activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 by a novel oral spirochetal species Treponema lecithinolyticum

B. K. Choi, J. H. Jung, H. Y. Suh, Y. J. Yoo, K. S. Cho, J. K. Chai, C. K. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Periodontal tissue destruction is a characteristic of periodontitis. This can be caused by either bacterial enzymes or host cell-derived matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In order to elucidate the etiologic role of oral spirochetes, we investigated the effects of Treponema lecithinolyticum, a novel saccharolytic species, on MMP-2 activation. Methods: Gingival fibroblasts (GFs) and periodontal ligament (PDL) cells obtained from healthy human subjects were cultured to confluence in α-minimal essential medium (α-MEM) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. After serum starvation for a day, the cultures were treated with whole cell sonicates, heat-denatured whole cell sonicates, outer membrane fraction (OMF) or formaldehyde-fixed cells of T. lecithinolyticum. Culture supernatants were collected after incubation for 24 to 48 hours and analyzed for MMP-2 activation by gelatin zymography. Collagenolytic activity was quantitatively measured using human [3H] type IV collagen as a substrate. Results: Treatment of GFs and PDL cells with whole cell sonicates, formaldehyde-fixed whole cells, or the OMF of T. lecithinolyticum resulted in the production of MMP-2 partly in the fully active form with a molecular mass of 62 kDa, whereas non-treated control cultures and cultures treated with a heat-denatured fraction did not show the active form. Cultures exposed to T. lecithinolyticum had higher collagenolytic activity than non-treated cultures. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that T. lecithinolyticum, possibly mediated by proteinaceous cell surface-associated components, may participate in extracellular matrix degradation by activation of MMP-2 during periodontal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1594-1600
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Periodontics


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 by a novel oral spirochetal species Treponema lecithinolyticum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this