Melbourne Dental School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 160
A twin study of body mass index and dental caries in childhood.
Sub-optimal nutrition and dental caries are both common with significant short and long-term implications for child health and development. We applied twin statistical methods to explore the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and dental caries. We measured BMI at 18 months and six years of age and cumulative dental caries experience at six years in 344 twin children. Dental caries in primary teeth was categorised into 'any' or 'advanced' and BMI was analysed as both a continuous and categorical variable. Statistical analyses included multiple logistic regression using generalized estimating equations and within/between-pair analyses. There was no association between BMI and 'any' dental caries experience at either time-point, neither overall nor in within/between pair analyses. However, 'advanced' dental caries at six years was associated with a within-pair difference in BMI of -0.55 kg/m2 (95% CI -1.00, -0.11, p = 0.015). A within-pair increase of 1 kg/m2 in BMI was associated with a lower within-pair risk of advanced dental caries (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.52, 0.90, p = 0.007). These findings reveal a possible causal relationship between lower BMI and dental caries. As dental outcomes were only measured at one time point, the direction of this potentially causal relationship is unclear.
Acute phase protein and cytokine levels in serum and saliva: A comparison of detectable levels and correlations in a depressed and healthy adolescent sample
Recent research has examined associations between inflammation and mental health, and has increasingly focused on utilising younger samples to characterise the temporal relationship between inflammatory responses and the emergence of other symptoms. These studies have typically used blood to measure inflammation, although rates of detection for many inflammatory markers appear to be low. Saliva is a safe and low-cost alternative, and adult research has shown that levels of some salivary markers correlate well with those in serum. However, no research has examined this association in young people. This study examined 16 inflammatory markers in serum and saliva in 17 depressed adolescents and 18 healthy controls, aged 13-18 years. In general, detection rates were higher in saliva compared to in serum. When non-detectable levels were excluded, serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) correlated with salivary CRP (r = 0.424, p = 0.015), and this correlation appeared to only exist for those individuals with high levels of serum CRP (r = 0.599, p = 0.014). However, when non-detectable levels were included as zero, salivary levels of CRP, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12p70, and interferon (IFN)-gamma correlated with their serum counterparts. No significant clinical group differences in any acute phase proteins or cytokines were present. This study suggests that saliva can be used to measure inflammation in studies with adolescent participants, especially CRP, as it appears to correlate with systemic inflammation for those individuals who are expected to have high levels of inflammation. Implications for future directions in research on salivary inflammatory markers are discussed.
Polymerisation of a T cell epitope with an immunostimulatory C3d peptide sequence enhances antigen specific T cell responses
The complement protein C3d and C3d derived peptides that bind CD21 are known to enhance immunity to co-immunised antigens. In this study we have synthesised the minimal CD21 binding sequence of C3d (1227LYNVEA 1232) as mono, di and tri tandem repeats and derivatised the N-terminus with an acryloyl moiety. These acryloyl-(C3d)n peptides were co-polymerised with a acryloyl-T cell epitope (PAS1K) from the Porphyromonas gingivalis antigen the RgpA–Kgp proteinase–adhesin complex. The ability of C3d containing polymers to enhance T cell immunity in vitro and in vivo was evaluated. When used to stimulate in vitro PAS1K-primed or RgpA–Kgp complex-primed T cells the C3d containing PAS1K polymers induced a mixed and significantly (p\0.05) higher IL-4 and IFNc T cell response compared to that induced by the PAS1K peptide or polymer. PAS1K polymers containing tandem repeats of C3d induced a significantly (p\0.05) stronger maximal proliferative response, at the same antigenic dose, compared to that induced by the PAS1K peptide or polymer. When used as immunogens to prime T cells all of the C3d containing PAS1K polymers induced a dominant IFNc T cell response and reduced the antigen dose required for maximal proliferation 150-fold compared to that required for the PAS1K-peptide or polymer primed T cells. In conclusion, the 6 residue sequence LYNVEA from C3d is sufficient to enhance immunity to an antigen and that the effect is more pronounced when C3d is part of the immunising antigen rather than an in vitro stimulating antigen.
Mass spectrometric analysis of gingival crevicular fluid biomarkers can predict periodontal disease progression
Background and Objective: Gingival crevicular fluid has been suggested as a possible source of biomarkers for periodontal disease progression. This paper describes a technique for the analysis of gingival crevicular fluid from individual sites using mass spectrometry. It explores the novel use of mass spectrometry to examine the relationship between the relative amounts of proteins and peptides in gingival crevicular fluid and their relationship with clinical indices and periodontal attachment loss in periodontal maintenance patients. The aim of this paper was to assess whether the mass spectrometric analysis of gingival crevicular fluid may allow for the site-specific prediction of periodontal disease progression. Material and Methods: Forty-one periodontal maintenance subjects were followed over 12 mo, with clinical measurements taken at baseline and every 3 mo thereafter. Gingival crevicular fluid was collected from subjects at each visit and was analysed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization timeof- flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. Samples were classified based upon pocket depth, modified gingival index (MGI), plaque index and attachment loss, and were analysed within these groups. A genetic algorithm was used to create a model based on pattern analysis to predict sites undergoing attachment loss. Results: Three hundred and eighty-five gingival crevicular fluid samples were analysed. Twenty-five sites under observation in 14 patients exhibited attachment loss of > 2 mm over the 12-mo period. The clinical indices pocket depth, MGI, plaque levels and bleeding on probing served as poor discriminators of gingival crevicular fluid mass spectra. Models generated from the gingival crevicular fluid mass spectra could predict attachment loss at a site with a high specificity (97% recognition capability and 67% cross-validation). Conclusions: Gingival crevicular fluid mass spectra could be used to predict sites with attachment loss. The use of algorithm-generated models based on gingival crevicular fluid mass spectra may provide utility in the diagnosis of periodontal disease.
Protein substrates of a novel secretion system are numerous in the bacteroidetes phylum and have in common a cleavable C-Terminal secretion signal, extensive post-translational modiﬁcation, and cell-surface attachment
(American Chemical Society (ACS), 2013)
The secretion of certain proteins in Porphyromonas gingivalis is dependent on a C-terminal domain (CTD). After secretion, the CTD is cleaved prior to extensive modification of the mature protein, probably with lipopolysaccharide, therefore enabling attachment to the cell surface. In this study, bioinformatic analyses of the CTD demonstrated the presence of three conserved sequence motifs. These motifs were used to construct Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) that predicted 663 CTD-containing proteins in 21 fully sequenced species of the Bacteroidetes phylum, while no CTD-containing proteins were predicted in species outside this phylum. Further HMM searching of Cytophaga hutchinsonii led to a total of 171 predicted CTD proteins in that organism alone. Proteomic analyses of membrane fractions and culture fluid derived from P. gingivalis and four other species containing predicted CTDs (Parabacteroides distasonis, Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythia, and C. hutchinsonii) demonstrated that membrane localization, extensive post-translational modification, and CTD-cleavage were conserved features of the secretion system. The CTD cleavage site of 10 different proteins from 3 different species was determined and found to be similar to the cleavage site previously determined in P. gingivalis, suggesting that homologues of the C-terminal signal peptidase (PG0026) are responsible for the cleavage in these species.
Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola exhibit metabolic symbioses
(Public Library of Science (PLOS), 2014)
Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola are strongly associated with chronic periodontitis. These bacteria have been co-localized in subgingival plaque and demonstrated to exhibit symbiosis in growth in vitro and synergistic virulence upon co-infection in animal models of disease. Here we show that during continuous co-culture a P. gingivalis:T. denticola cell ratio of 6:1 was maintained with a respective increase of 54% and 30% in cell numbers when compared with monoculture. Co-culture caused significant changes in global gene expression in both species with altered expression of 184 T. denticola and 134 P. gingivalis genes. P. gingivalis genes encoding a predicted thiamine biosynthesis pathway were upregulated whilst genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis were down-regulated. T. denticola genes encoding virulence factors including dentilisin and glycine catabolic pathways were significantly up-regulated during co-culture. Metabolic labeling using 13C-glycine showed that T. denticola rapidly metabolized this amino acid resulting in the production of acetate and lactate. P. gingivalis may be an important source of free glycine for T. denticola as mono-cultures of P. gingivalis and T. denticola were found to produce and consume free glycine, respectively; free glycine production by P. gingivalis was stimulated by T. denticola conditioned medium and glycine supplementation of T. denticola medium increased final cell density 1.7-fold. Collectively these data show P. gingivalis and T. denticola respond metabolically to the presence of each other with T. denticola displaying responses that help explain enhanced virulence of co-infections.
Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola synergistic polymicrobial biofilm development
(Public Library of Science (PLOS), 2013)
Chronic periodontitis has a polymicrobial biofilm aetiology and interactions between key bacterial species are strongly implicated as contributing to disease progression. Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia have all been implicated as playing roles in disease progression. P. gingivalis cell-surface-located protease/adhesins, the gingipains, have been suggested to be involved in its interactions with several other bacterial species. The aims of this study were to determine polymicrobial biofilm formation by P. gingivalis, T. denticola and T. forsythia, as well as the role of P. gingivalis gingipains in biofilm formation by using a gingipain null triple mutant. To determine homotypic and polymicrobial biofilm formation a flow cell system was employed and the biofilms imaged and quantified by fluorescent in situ hybridization using DNA species-specific probes and confocal scanning laser microscopy imaging. Of the three species, only P. gingivalis and T. denticola formed mature, homotypic biofilms, and a strong synergy was observed between P. gingivalis and T. denticola in polymicrobial biofilm formation. This synergy was demonstrated by significant increases in biovolume, average biofilm thickness and maximum biofilm thickness of both species. In addition there was a morphological change of T. denticola in polymicrobial biofilms when compared with homotypic biofilms, suggesting reduced motility in homotypic biofilms. P. gingivalis gingipains were shown to play an essential role in synergistic polymicrobial biofilm formation with T. denticola.
Maculatin 1.1 disrupts Staphylococcus aureus lipid membranes via a pore mechanism
(American Society for Microbiology, 2013)
Maculatin 1.1 (Mac1) showed potent activity against Staphylococcus aureus with an MIC of 7 _M. The mode of action of Mac1 was investigated by combining assays with S. aureus cells and lipid vesicles mimicking their membrane composition. A change in Mac1 conformation was monitored by circular dichroism from random coil to ca. 70% _-helix structure in contact with vesicles. Electron micrographs of S. aureus incubated with Mac1 showed rough and rippled cell surfaces. An uptake of 65% of small (FD, 4 kDa [FD-4]) and 35% of large (RD, 40 kDa [RD-40]) fluorescent dextrans by S. aureus was observed by flow cytometry and indicate that Mac1 formed a pore of finite size. In model membranes with both dyes encapsulated together, the full release of FD-4 occurred, but only 40% of RD-40 was reached, supporting the flow cytometry results, and indicating a pore size between 1.4 and 4.5 nm. Finally, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance showed formation of an isotropic phase signifying highly mobile lipids such as encountered in a toroidal pore structure. Overall, Mac1 is a promising antimicrobial peptide with the potent capacity to form pores in S. aureus membranes.
Clinical isolates and laboratory reference Candida species and strains have varying abilities to form biofilms
Candida biofilms are a major virulence trait for this yeast. In this study, the biofilm-forming ability of the major medically important clinical and laboratory reference strains was compared. Biofilms were quantified using traditional methods, that is, crystal violet (CV), tetrazolium (XTT) reduction and colony-forming unit assays (CFU), and two new methods: an automated cell counter (ACC) and biofilm suspension turbidity (BST) method. Biofilms could be categorized based on biofilm biomass (high, medium and low) and growth state (high and low). Candida albicans genotypes, A, B and C, showed medium biofilm mass and low growth rate, and only one C. albicans laboratory strain, ATCC MYA-2719, matched this biofilm category. Of all non-albicans Candida species tested, only Candida dubliniensis and Candida glabrata laboratory and clinical isolates had similar biofilm development. The ACC and BST methods for measuring biofilm significantly correlated with CV and CFU biofilm mass measurements. Thus, biofilm mass can be rapidly assessed using biofilm disruptive/cellular nondestructive methods allowing yeast biofilm cells to be used for further analysis. In conclusion, Candida laboratory reference strains and clinical isolates have been shown to form biofilms at different rates; hence for validity, the selection of laboratory reference strains in biofilm studies may be critical for virulence assessment.
Differential proteomic analysis of a polymicrobial biofilm
(American Chemical Society (ACS), 2012)
Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, and Tannerella forsythia exist in a polymicrobial biofilm associated with chronic periodontitis. The aim of this study was to culture these three species as a polymicrobial biofilm and to determine proteins important for bacterial interactions. In a flow cell all three species attached and grew as a biofilm; however, after 90 h of culture P. gingivalis and T. denticola were closely associated and dominated the polymicrobial biofilm. For comparison, planktonic cultures of P. gingivalis and T. denticola were grown separately in continuous culture. Whole cell lysates were subjected to SDS-PAGE, followed by in-gel proteolytic (H2O)-O-16/(H2O)-O-18 labeling. From two replicates, 135 and 174 P. gingivalis proteins and 134 and 194 T. denticola proteins were quantified by LC-MALDI TOF/TOF MS. The results suggest a change of strategy in iron acquisition by P. gingivalis due to large increases in the abundance of HusA and HusB in the polymicrobial biofilm while HmuY and other iron/haem transport systems decreased. Significant changes in the abundance of peptidases and enzymes involved in glutamate and glycine catabolism suggest syntrophy. These data indicate an intimate association between P. gingivalis and T. denticola in a biofilm that may play a role in disease pathogenesis.
A bio-informatics study of the c25 cysteine protease family
(Scientific Research, 2012)
The oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis is recognized as one of the major aetiological agents of chronic periodontitis. The gingipains, which are the principal virulence factors of P. gingivalis, are multi-domain proteins containing an N-terminal C25 cysteine protease domain. We have conducted a bio-informatics study of the C25 cysteine protease domains and have identified related domains in over two thousand proteins from 739 organisms in 35 distinct phyla. Proteins having significant similarity to the gingipain C25 cysteine protease domain are also found in Gram +ve bacteria, Archaea, algae, higher fungi, and a wide variety of Eukaryotic species.
FlexDM: Simple, parallel and fault-tolerant data mining using WEKA.
BACKGROUND: With the continued exponential growth in data volume, large-scale data mining and machine learning experiments have become a necessity for many researchers without programming or statistics backgrounds. WEKA (Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis) is a gold standard framework that facilitates and simplifies this task by allowing specification of algorithms, hyper-parameters and test strategies from a streamlined Experimenter GUI. Despite its popularity, the WEKA Experimenter exhibits several limitations that we address in our new FlexDM software. RESULTS: FlexDM addresses four fundamental limitations with the WEKA Experimenter: reliance on a verbose and difficult-to-modify XML schema; inability to meta-optimise experiments over a large number of algorithm hyper-parameters; inability to recover from software or hardware failure during a large experiment; and failing to leverage modern multicore processor architectures. Direct comparisons between the FlexDM and default WEKA XML schemas demonstrate a 10-fold improvement in brevity for a specification that allows finer control of experimental procedures. The stability of FlexDM has been tested on a large biological dataset (approximately 450 k attributes by 150 samples), and automatic parallelisation of tasks yields a quasi-linear reduction in execution time when distributed across multiple processor cores. CONCLUSION: FlexDM is a powerful and easy-to-use extension to the WEKA package, which better handles the increased volume and complexity of data that has emerged during the 20 years since WEKA's original development. FlexDM has been tested on Windows, OSX and Linux operating systems and is provided as a pre-configured virtual reference environment for trivial usage and extensibility. This software can substantially improve the productivity of any research group conducting large-scale data mining or machine learning tasks, in addition to providing non-programmers with improved control over specific aspects of their data analysis pipeline via a succinct and simplified XML schema.