© 2015 Ikai et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Porphyromonas gingivalis, a gram-negative obligate anaerobic bacterium, is considered to be a key pathogen in periodontal disease. The bacterium expresses Mfa1 fimbriae, which are composed of polymers of Mfa1. The minor accessory components Mfa3, Mfa4, and Mfa5 are incorporated into these fimbriae. In this study, we characterized Mfa4 using genetically modified strains. Deficiency in the mfa4 gene decreased, but did not eliminate, expression of Mfa1 fimbriae. However, Mfa3 and Mfa5 were not incorporated because of defects in posttranslational processing and leakage into the culture supernatant, respectively. Furthermore, the mfa4-deficient mutant had an increased tendency to auto-aggregate and form biofilms, reminiscent of a mutant completely lacking Mfa1. Notably, complementation of mfa4 restored expression of structurally intact and functional Mfa1 fimbriae. Taken together, these results indicate that the accessory proteins Mfa3, Mfa4, and Mfa5 are necessary for assembly of Mfa1 fimbriae and regulation of auto-aggregation and biofilm formation of P. gingivalis. In addition, we found that Mfa3 and Mfa4 are processed to maturity by the same RgpA/B protease that processes Mfa1 subunits prior to polymerization.
Ikai, R., Hasegawa, Y., Izumigawa, M., Nagano, K., Yoshida, Y., Kitai, N., … Murakami, Y. (2015). Mfa4, an Accessory Protein of Mfa1 Fimbriae, Modulates Fimbrial Biogenesis, Cell Auto- Aggregation, and Biofilm Formation in Porphyromonas gingivalis. PLoS ONE, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139454