Porphyromonas gingivalis proteinases as virulence determinants in progression of periodontal diseases

Tomoko Kadowaki, Koji Nakayama, Kuniaki Okamoto, Naoko Abe, Atsuyo Baba, Yixin Shi, Dinath B. Ratnayake, Kenji Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the major causative agents of periodontal diseases, produces large amounts of arginine- and lysine-specific cysteine proteinases in cell-associated and secretory forms, which are now referred to as Arg-gingipain (Rgp) and Lysgingipain (Kgp), respectively. A number of studies have revealed that these proteinases are closely associated with the periodontopathogenesis of this bacterium: destruction of periodontal connective tissues, disruption of host defense mechanisms, and development and maintenance of inflammation in periodontal pockets. With respect to the physiology of the bacterium, Rgp and Kgp are indispensable for it to obtain nutrients from the environment, since it cannot utilize saccharides as carbon/energy sources for growth and totally depends on peptides and amino acids that are provided from environmental proteins by Rgp and Kgp. Furthermore, proteolytic activities of Rgp and Kgp contribute to processing/maturation of various cell-surface proteins of P. gingivalis, such as fimA fimbrilin (a subunit of major fimbriae), 75-kDa protein (a subunit of minor fimbriae), hemagglutinins, and the hemoglobin receptor protein, which are important for the bacterium to colonize and proliferate in the gingival crevice and to invade the periodontium. These findings strongly indicate critical roles of Rgp and Kgp in the virulence of P. gingivalis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128.2.153
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Arg-gingipain
  • Cysteine proteinases
  • Lys-gingipain
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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