Regulation of olfactomedin 4 by Porphyromonas gingivalis in a community context

Zackary R. Fitzsimonds, Chengcheng Liu, Kendall S. Stocke, Lan Yakoumatos, Brian Shumway, Daniel P. Miller, Maxim N. Artyomov, Juhi Bagaitkar, Richard J. Lamont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


At mucosal barriers, the virulence of microbial communities reflects the outcome of both dysbiotic and eubiotic interactions with the host, with commensal species mitigating or potentiating the action of pathogens. We examined epithelial responses to the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis as a monoinfection and in association with a community partner, Streptococcus gordonii. RNA-Seq of oral epithelial cells showed that the Notch signaling pathway, including the downstream effector olfactomedin 4 (OLFM4), was differentially regulated by P. gingivalis alone; however, regulation was overridden by S. gordonii. OLFM4 was required for epithelial cell migratory, proliferative and inflammatory responses to P. gingivalis. Activation of Notch signaling was induced through increased expression of the Notch1 receptor and the Jagged1 (Jag1) agonist. In addition, Jag1 was released in response to P. gingivalis, leading to paracrine activation. Following Jag1-Notch1 engagement, the Notch1 extracellular domain was cleaved by P. gingivalis gingipain proteases. Antagonism by S. gordonii involved inhibition of gingipain activity by secreted hydrogen peroxide. The results establish a novel mechanism by which P. gingivalis modulates epithelial cell function which is dependent on community context. These interrelationships have relevance for innate inflammatory responses and epithelial cell fate decisions in oral health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2627-2642
Number of pages16
JournalISME Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


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