Human SCPPPQ1 Protein and Peptide Derivatives Exhibit Antibacterial Properties against Porphyromonas gingivalis

Localization and effect of SCPPPQ1 on P. gingivalis bacteria using TEM imaging. From the cited paper.

After the gut, the mouth is most important microbiome in the human body, with the inhabitants ranging from bacteria and fungi to viruses and protozoa. If this careful balance of microorganisms is thrown off even by a little, certain pathogens could propagate and cause serious periodontal diseases. One such pathogen is Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), that degrades the components of the specialized basal lamina that protects supporting tissues in the teeth. However, one component of this specialized basal lamina, the secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein proline-glutamine rich 1 (SCPPPQ1) protein, had shown to be not only resistant to P. gingivalis, but to also affect the cell membrane of P. gingivalis itself. A group of researchers then decided to explore these antimicrobial properties of the SCPPPQ1 protein and its peptide derivatives.

SCPPPQ1 protein and peptide derivatives as antibacterial agents

Using the SCPPPQ1 protein itself and derived peptides synthesized by LifeTein, the group sought to test how they fared against P. gingivalis in isolated conditions. After incubating the two together, results showed rapid and significant decrease of P. gingivalis population. The means of which were narrowed down to aggregation of bacteria and membrane disruption.

The group went further and tested the antibacterial properties against other pathogens, and though there were results, none were as significant as those against P. gingivalis. The results point towards a more honed treatment against P. gingivalis in the future using this knowledge of the SCPPPQ1 protein and its peptide derivatives. Since the protein itself is native in the human mouth, further application to treat periodontal pathogens with its antibacterial properties is not out of the question.

Mary, C., Fouillen, A., Moffatt, P. et al. Effect of human secretory calcium-binding phosphoprotein proline-glutamine rich 1 protein on Porphyromonas gingivalis and identification of its active portions. Sci Rep 11, 23724 (2021).

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