Global transcriptional analysis of Streptococcus mutans sugar transporters using microarrays

Dragana Ajdić, Vi T.T. Pham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The transport of carbohydrates by Streptococcus mutans is accomplished by the phosphoenolpyruvate-phosphotransferase system (PTS) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. To undertake a global transcriptional analysis of all S. mutans sugar transporters simultaneously, we used a whole-genome expression microarray. Global transcription profiles of S. mutans UA159 were determined for several monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose, and mannose), disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose, and trehalose), a β-glucoside (cellobiose), oligosaccharides (raffinose, stachyose, and maltotriose), and a sugar alcohol (mannitol). The results revealed that PTSs were responsible for transport of monosaccharides, disaccharides, β-glucosides, and sugar alcohol. Six PTSs were transcribed only if a specific sugar was present in the growth medium; thus, they were regulated at the transcriptional level. These included transporters for fructose, lactose, cellobiose, and trehalose and two transporters for mannitol. Three PTSs were repressed under all conditions tested. Interestingly, five PTSs were always highly expressed regardless of the sugar source used, presumably suggesting their availability for immediate uptake of most common dietary sugars (glucose, fructose, maltose, and sucrose). The ABC transporters were found to be specific for oligosaccharides, raffinose, stachyose, and isomaltosaccharides. Compared to the PTSs, the ABC transporters showed higher transcription under several tested conditions, suggesting that they might be transporting multiple substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5049-5059
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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