Impairment of melibiose utilization in Streptococcus mutans serotype c gtfA mutants

R. G. Barletta, R. Curtiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Streptococcus mutans serotype c gtfA gene encodes a 55-kilodalton sucrose-hydrolyzing enzyme. Analysis of S. mutans gtfA mutants revealed that the mutant strains were specifically impaired in the ability to use melibiose as a sole carbon source. S. mutans gtfA mutant strains synthesized less α-galactosidase activity inducible by raffinose than wild-type strains. Melibiose (an inducer in wild-type strains) failed to induce significant levels of α-galactosidase in the mutant strains. We hypothesize that melibiose use by S. mutans requires the interaction of the GtfA enzyme, or another gene product under the control of the gtfA promoter, with other gene product(s) involved in melibiose transport or hydrolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-995
Number of pages4
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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