Cell & Bioscience (May 2021)

Synonymous point mutation of gtfB gene caused by therapeutic X-rays exposure reduced the biofilm formation and cariogenic abilities of Streptococcus mutans

  • Zheng Wang,
  • Yujie Zhou,
  • Qi Han,
  • Xingchen Ye,
  • Yanyan Chen,
  • Yan Sun,
  • Yaqi Liu,
  • Jing Zou,
  • Guohai Qi,
  • Xuedong Zhou,
  • Lei Cheng,
  • Biao Ren

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1
pp. 1 – 13


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Abstract Background The shift of oral microbiota is a critical factor of radiation caries in head and neck cancer patients after the radiotherapy. However, the direct effects of irradiation on the genome and virulence of cariogenic bacteria are poorly described. Here we investigated the genomic mutations and virulence change of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), the major cariogenic bacteria, exposed to the therapeutic doses of X-rays. Results X-ray reduced the survival fraction of S. mutans and impacted its biofilm formation. We isolated a biofilm formation-deficient mutant #858 whose genome only possessed three synonymous mutations (c.2043 T > C, c.2100C > T, c.2109A > G) in gtfB gene. The “silent mutation” of c.2043 T > C in gtfB gene can cause the down-regulation of all of the gtfs genes’ expression and decrease the GtfB enzyme secretion without the effect on the growth due to the codon bias. #858 and synonymous point mutation strain gtfB 2043 T>C, similar to the gtfB gene null mutant Δ gtfB, can significantly decrease the extracellular polysaccharide production, biofilm formation and cariogenic capabilities both in vitro and in vivo compared with wild type. Conclusion The direct exposure of X-ray radiation can affect the genome and virulence of oral bacteria even at therapeutic doses. The synonymous mutations of genome are negligent factors for gene expression and related protein translation due to the codon usage frequency.