P. gingivalis, a gram-negative anaerobe is an important component of the oral microbiota. Under certain circumstances P. gingivalis can contribute to the initiation and progression of severe and chronic forms of periodontal disease. However, P. gingivalis can also inhabit the oral cavity in the absence of overt disease and can engage in a balanced interaction with host cells. Epithelial cells that line the gingival crevice function both as a physical barrier and as sensors of microbial colonization. The outcome of the interaction between P. gingivalis and gingival epithelial cells, therefore, makes a significant contribution to the degree of equilibrium between host and microbe, and to overall gingival health status. P. gingivalis can manipulate epithelial cell signal transduction pathways in order to direct its entry into the host cell. Internalized P. gingivalis remain viable and accumulate in the perinuclear area; and the epithelial cells do not undergo apoptotic or necrotic cell death. However, gene transcriptional activity is modulated in both host and microbial cells. The goal of this proposal is to provide a greater degree of molecular definition to the mechanisms by which P. gingivalis and gingival epithelial cells interact and adapt to each other. By constructing specific gene knockouts, the functionality of the genes and proteins differentially regulated by P. gingivalis during its association with epithelial cells will be determined. In addition, the means by which P. gingivalis impinges upon epithelial cell apoptotic pathways will be investigated. Finally, the transcriptional profile of epithelial cells that are infected with P. gingivalis will be studied with microarrays. This system-wide approach will provide novel insights into the eukaryotic cellular physiology that accompanies recognition of P. gingivalis and accommodation of intracellular organisms. The ultimate goal of these studies is to use the knowledge gained to develop strategies that could be utilized to intervene in the P. gingivalis epithelial cell interaction to ensure that the outcome is non-harmful to the host.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Sciences Study Section (ODCS)
Program Officer
Bhargava, Sangeeta
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Florida
Schools of Dentistry
United States
Zip Code
Edmisson, Jacob S; Tian, Shifu; Armstrong, Cortney L et al. (2018) Filifactor alocis modulates human neutrophil antimicrobial functional responses. Cell Microbiol 20:e12829
Armstrong, Cortney L; Klaes, Christopher K; Vashishta, Aruna et al. (2018) Filifactor alocis manipulates human neutrophils affecting their ability to release neutrophil extracellular traps induced by PMA. Innate Immun 24:210-220
Lee, Jae Y; Miller, Daniel P; Wu, Leng et al. (2018) Maturation of the Mfa1 Fimbriae in the Oral Pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 8:137
Sztukowska, Maryta N; Dutton, Lindsay C; Delaney, Christopher et al. (2018) Community Development between Porphyromonas gingivalis and Candida albicans Mediated by InlJ and Als3. MBio 9:
Lamont, Richard J; Koo, Hyun; Hajishengallis, George (2018) The oral microbiota: dynamic communities and host interactions. Nat Rev Microbiol 16:745-759
Inaba, Hiroaki; Amano, Atsuo; Lamont, Richard J et al. (2018) Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis Induced by Porphyromonas gingivalis Require Jun N-Terminal Protein Kinase- and p53-Mediated p38 Activation in Human Trophoblasts. Infect Immun 86:
Kuboniwa, Masae; Houser, John R; Hendrickson, Erik L et al. (2017) Metabolic crosstalk regulates Porphyromonas gingivalis colonization and virulence during oral polymicrobial infection. Nat Microbiol 2:1493-1499
Miller, Daniel P; Hutcherson, Justin A; Wang, Yan et al. (2017) Genes Contributing to Porphyromonas gingivalis Fitness in Abscess and Epithelial Cell Colonization Environments. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 7:378
Jimenez Flores, E; Tian, S; Sizova, M et al. (2017) Peptoanaerobacter stomatis Primes Human Neutrophils and Induces Granule Exocytosis. Infect Immun 85:
Gao, Shegan; Li, Shuoguo; Ma, Zhikun et al. (2016) Presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis in esophagus and its association with the clinicopathological characteristics and survival in patients with esophageal cancer. Infect Agent Cancer 11:3

Showing the most recent 10 out of 93 publications