The lysine-specific gingipain of porphyromonas gingivalis : Importance to pathogenicity and potential strategies for inhibition

Tang Yongqing, Jan Potempa, Robert Pike, Lakshmi Wijeyewickrema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Periodontitis is a disease affecting the supporting structures of the teeth. The most severe forms of the disease result in tooth loss and have recently been strongly associated with systemic diseases, including cardiovascular and lung diseases and cancer. The disease is caused by biofilms of predominantly anaerobic bacteria. A major pathogen associated with severe, adult forms of the disease is Porphyromonas gingivalis. This organism produces potent cysteine proteases known as gingipains, which have specificity for cleavage after arginine or lysine residues. The lysine-specific gingipain, Kgp, appears to be the major virulence factor of this organism and here we describe its structure and function. We also discuss the inhibitors of the enzyme produced to date and the potential pathways to newer versions of such molecules that will be required to combat periodontitis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCysteine Proteases of Pathogenic Organisms
EditorsMark W Robinson, John P Dalton
Place of PublicationUSA
Pages15 - 29
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781441984135
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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