The present project aims the characterization of the glutamine transport system (Gln), a member of the ABC transporter family, in Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). We propose to study the role of this system in the physiology and pathogenicity of this bacterium species. Polyclonal anti-GlnH antibodies will be obtained for prevalence studies among clinical and laboratorial strains of S.mutans. Another branch of the work will involve the construction of specific Gln mutants and evaluation of altered in vitro phenotypes with emphasis on adherence and biofilm production. Since uptake of glutamine may be related to different physiological roles such as synthesis of essential amino acids and nucleic acids synthesis as well as cellular growth, we will evaluate the viability and growth rate of the Gln-deficient mutant with regard to the parenteral strain. The unprecedented nature of this proposal in Brazil should be emphasized and may contribute to the better understanding of the physiology and pathogenicity of S. mutans, the etiological agent of dental caries.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: