The cultivation and genetic manipulation of Treponema denticola, a Gram-negative oral spirochaeta associated with periodontal diseases, is still challenging. In this study, we formulated a simple medium based on a commercially available one, and established a transformation method with high efficiency. We then analyzed proteins in a membrane fraction in T. denticola and identified 16 major membrane-associated proteins, and characterized one of them, TDE2508, whose biological function was not yet known. Although this protein, which exhibited a complex conformation, was presumably localized in the outer membrane, we did not find conclusive evidence that it was exposed on the cell surface. Intriguingly, a TDE2508-deficient mutant exhibited significantly increased biofilm formation and adherent activity on human gingival epithelial cells. However, the protein deficiency did not alter autoaggregation, coaggregation with Porphyromonas gingivalis, hemagglutination, cell surface hydrophobicity, motility, or expression of Msp which was reported to be an adherent molecule in this bacteria. In conclusion, the major membrane protein TDE2508 regulates biofilm formation and the adhesive potency of T. denticola, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear.
ASJC Scopus subject areas