Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Prevotella nigrescens and Fusobacterium nucleatum, which can frequently be isolated from periodontal pockets, preferentially utilize proteins and peptides as growth substrates. In this study, we determined the size of peptide that is preferentially utilized as a source of energy and material for cell growth by P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, P. nigrescens and F. nucleatum using various sizes of poly amino acids consisting of two to approximately 100 molecules of aspartate or glutamate. Resting cells of P. gingivalis, P. intermedia and P. nigrescens utilized aspartylaspartate, while cells of P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum utilized glutamylglutamate. The addition of aspartylaspartate to the culture medium increased the growth of P. gingivalis, P. intermedia and P. nigrescens, while the addition of glutamylglutamate promoted the growth of P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum. These results clearly indicate that dipeptides such as aspartylaspartate and glutamylglutamate can be utilized as growth substrates for P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, P. nigrescens and F. nucleatum.
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