PAI-2/SerpinB2 inhibits proteolytic activity in a P. gingivalis-dominated multispecies bacterial consortium

J. Neilands, F.J. Bikker, B. Kinnby

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of the serine protease inhibitor plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2/Serpin B2) to inhibit proteases produced by a multispecies bacterial consortium in vitro.
Gingival and periodontal inflammation is associated with an increased flow of protein-rich gingival fluid. This nutritional change in the microenvironment favors bacteria with a proteolytic phenotype, triggering inflammation and associated tissue breakdown. PAI-2 is produced by macrophages and keratinocytes and is present in very high concentrations in gingival crevicular fluid; the highest level in the body.
Design: A multispecies bacterial consortium comprising nine bacterial strains, resembling the conditions in a periodontal pocket, was grown planktonically and as a biofilm. After seven days PAI-2 was added to the consortium and the proteolytic activity was assayed with fluorogenic protease substrates; FITC-labeled casein to detect global protease activity, fluorescent H-Gly-Pro-AMC for serine protease activity and fluorescent BIKKAM-10 for Porphyromonas gingivalis-associated protease activity. Protease activity associated with biofilm cells was examined by confocal scanning laser microscopy.
Results: PAI-2 inhibited proteolytic activity of the bacterial consortium, as seen by decreased fluorescence of all substrates. PAI-2 specifically inhibited P. gingivalis proteolytic activity.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first time that PAI-2 has been shown to inhibit bacterial proteases. Given the high concentration of PAI-2 in the gingival region, our results indicate that PAI-2 might play a role for the integrity of the epithelial barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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