Role of peptide antigen for induction of inhibitory antibodies to Streptococcus mutans in human oral cavity


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Abstract

SUMMARYThe alanine-rich repeating region (A-region) in the surface protein antigen (PAc) of Streptococcus mutans has received much attention as an antigenic component for vaccines against dental caries. The PAc (residue 361–386) peptide in the A-region possesses a multiple binding motif (L– –V-K– –A) to various HLA-DR molecules and a B-cell core epitope (- Y– – -L– –Y――――) that recognizes the inhibiting antibody to S. mutans. In the present study, we investigated the immunogenicity of the PAc (361–386) peptide in humans and regulators of induction of the anti-PAc (361–386) peptide IgA antibody (aPPA) in saliva. The PAc (361–386) peptide was confirmed as an ideal peptide antigen for induction of the inhibiting antibody to S. mutans in 151 healthy human subjects (36·6 ± 12·6 years old) by quantitative analyses of oral bacteria and ELISA, as the aPPA titre in human saliva decreased significantly in an age-dependent manner. Homozygous DRB1*0405 and 1502, and heterozygous DRB1*0405/1502 showed a negative association with production of aPPA and tended to reduce the number of total streptococci in saliva. In contrast, the DRB1*1501 allele was significantly correlated with a high level of induction of the antibodies, and also tended to reduce lactobacilli and mutans streptococci. Further, peptide immunogenicity was confirmed in NOD-SCID mice grafted with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Our results indicate that the interplay between regulators such as age, DRB1 genotype, cytokines, and peptide immunogenicity may provide a potential means for developing a vaccine useful for the prevention of dental caries as well as their diagnosis.

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