Proteolysis of ICAM-1 on human oral epithelial cells by gingipains

H. Tada, S. Sugawara, E. Nemoto, T. Imamura, J. Potempa, J. Travis, Hidetoshi Shimauchi, Haruhiko Takada

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Cysteine proteinases (gingipains) from Porphyromonas gingivalis are considered key virulence factors of severe periodontitis and host immune evasion. Since expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on gingival epithelium is indispensable in polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) migration at the site of periodontitis, we examined the effects of gingipains on the expression of ICAM-1 on human oral epithelial cell lines (KB and HSC-2) by flow cytometry and Western blotting. We found that three purified forms of gingipains efficiently reduced ICAM-1 expression on the cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Gingipains reduced the expression on fixed cells and degraded the ICAM-1 in the cell membranes, indicating that the reduction resulted from direct proteolysis. They then disturbed the ICAM-1-dependent adhesion of PMNs to the cells. These results indicate that gingipains cleave ICAM-1 on oral epithelial cells, consequently disrupting PMN-oral epithelial cell interaction, and are involved in immune evasion by the bacterium in periodontal tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-801
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct


  • Gingipains
  • ICAM-1
  • Neutrophil adhesion
  • Oral epithelial cells
  • Proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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