Porphyromonas gingivalis is a keystone bacterium in the oral microbial communities that elicits a dysbiosis between the microbiota and the host. Therefore, inhibition of this organism in dental plaques has been one of the strategies for preventing and treating chronic periodontitis. We previously identified a Streptococcal ArcA derived Anti-P gingivalils Peptide (SAPP) that in vitro, is capable of repressing the expression of several virulence genes in the organism. This leads to a significant reduction in P gingivalis virulence potential, including its ability to colonize on the surface of Streptococcus gordonii, to invade human oral epithelial cells, and to produce gingipains. In this study, we showed that SAPP had minimal cytotoxicity to human oral keratinocytes and gingival fibroblasts. We observed that SAPP directly bound to the cell surface of P gingivalis, and that alterations in the sequence at the N-terminus of SAPP diminished its abilities to interact with P gingivalis cells and repressed the expression of virulence genes. Most strikingly, we demonstrated using an ex-vivo assay that besides its inhibitory activity against P gingivalis colonization, SAPP could also reduce the levels of several other oral Gram-negative bacteria strongly associated with periodontitis in multispecies biofilms. Our results provide a platform for the development of SAPP-targeted therapeutics against chronic periodontitis.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.