Comprehensive Mutational Analysis of Sucrose-Metabolizing Pathways in Streptococcus mutans Reveals Novel Roles for the Sucrose Phosphotransferase System Permease

  • L. Zeng, R. A. Burne
  • Journal of Bacteriology, December 2012, ASM Journals
  • DOI: 10.1128/jb.02042-12

Sucrose-dependent gene regulation in S. mutans

What is it about?

As an etiological agent for human dental caries, Streptococcus mutans hosts a variety of enzymes to metabolize sucrose for virulence expression. To better understand the role of sucrose in influencing gene expression in S. mutans, we constructed a series of mutations in various sucrose-metabolizing genes. The results clarified the relative contributions to sucrose metabolism by various systems, and presented evidence for sucrose-dependent catabolite repression exerted on certain catabolic genes.

Why is it important?

The large arsenal of sucrose-utilizing enzymes hosted by S. mutans has presented an enticing challenge to studying the function of individual systems. Employment of both antibiotic marker and marker-less methods has enabled us for the first time to construct a mutant that lacks all sucrases. The resultant mutants led to the discovery of sucrose-dependent catabolite repression and raised the possibility of fructose expulsion by S. mutans when consuming sucrose.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Lin Zeng