Sucrose, extracellular polysaccharide, and glucosyltransferases (GTFs) are key factors in sucrose-dependent adhesion and play important roles in the process of severe early-childhood caries (S-ECC). However, whether sucrose concentration regulates gtf expression, extracellular polysaccharide synthesis, and sucrose-dependent adhesion is related to the different genotypes of S. mutans isolated from ECC in children and still needs to be investigated. In this study, 52 strains of S. mutans were isolated from children with S-ECC and caries-free (CF) children. Water-insoluble glucan (WIG) synthesis was detected by the anthrone method, adhesion capacity by the turbidimetric method, and expression of gtf by RT-PCR in an in vitro model containing 1%-20% sucrose. The genotypes of S. mutans were analyzed by AP-PCR. The results showed that WIG synthesis, adhesion capacity, and gtf expression increased significantly when the sucrose concentration was from 1% to 10%. WIG synthesis and gtfB as well as gtfC expression of the 1% and 5% groups were significantly lower than those of the 10% and 20% groups (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the 10% and 20% groups. The fingerprints of S. mutans detected from individuals in the S-ECC group exhibited a significant difference in diversity compared with those from CF individuals (p < 0.05). Further, the expression of gtfB and gtfC in the S-ECC group was significantly different among the 1- to 5-genotype groups (p < 0.05). It can be concluded that sucrose-dependent adhesion might be related to the diversity of genotypes of S. mutans, and the 10% sucrose level can be seen as a "turning point" and essential factor for the prevention of S-ECC.
Zhao, W., Li, W., Lin, J., Chen, Z., & Yu, D. (2014). Effect of sucrose concentration on sucrose-dependent adhesion and glucosyltransferase expression of S. mutans in children with severe early-childhood caries (S-ECC). Nutrients, 6(9), 3572–3586. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6093572