Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Wilfrid Laurier University
Protein structure-function relationships in periodontal disease
In the mouth, a wide variety of microorganisms are embedded in biofilms that contribute to periodontal diseases such as gum disease and tooth decay. To understand the contribution of a consortium of periodontal pathogens, including Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola, to biofilm formation and dental diseases, Dr Suits’ research group will clone, produce and isolate ~40-50 proteins of interest for structure-function characterization.
These proteins have been selected using a bioinformatics-based approach to identify similarities with carbohydrate-processing, extracellular factors, and upregulated gene products during collaborative growth conditions. In this way, they will characterize novel factors that contribute to biofilm formation and immune evasion.