Fueling the caries process: carbohydrate metabolism and gene regulation by Streptococcus mutans

  • Zachary D. Moye, Lin Zeng, Robert A. Burne
  • Journal of Oral Microbiology, September 2014, Co-Action Publishing
  • DOI: 10.3402/jom.v6.24878

Gene regulation governing carbohydrate metabolism integral to caries development

What is it about?

A review of recent progress in the efforts of understanding molecular mechanisms bacteria use to promote colonization in human mouth and subsequent development of dental caries. We highlighted the renewed role of continuous culture technique in the era of Microarray, Next-gen sequencing and metabolomics, as well as important development in understanding the metabolism of several prominent sugar sources. Also discussed is the increased awareness of sugar in influencing bacterial pathogenesis.

Why is it important?

Many bacteria depend on carbohydrates for energy production and survival, placing sugar metabolism in the center of cellular response that affects everything from signal sensing, biofilm formation, virulence factor expression to stress tolerance. Long have the role of bacterial sugar metabolism and related gene regulation been under-appreciated in our approach to bacterial patho-physiology and infectious diseases. As a pathogen that thrives on various sugars, S. mutans makes a perfect case.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Lin Zeng