Human cathelicidin LL-37 enhance the antibiofilm effect of EGCG on Streptococcus mutans.

Research paper by Yi-Jie YJ Guo, Bo B Zhang, Xue-Song XS Feng, Hui-Xun HX Ren, Ji-Ru JR Xu

Indexed on: 24 Sep '16Published on: 24 Sep '16Published in: BMC Oral Health


Streptococcus mutans forms biofilms as a resistance mechanism against antimicrobial agents in the human oral cavity. We recently showed that human cathelicidin LL-37 exhibits inhibitory effects on biofilm formation of S. mutans through interaction with lipoteichoic acid (LTA), but without antibacterial or biofilm dispersal abilities. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant constituent of tea catechins that has the greatest anti-infective potential to inhibit the growth of various microorganisms and biofilm formation. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated whether LL-37 interacts with EGCG to enhance the antibiofilm effect of EGCG on S. mutans biofilm formation.Clinical S. mutans strains (n = 10) isolated from children's saliva were tested in a biofilm formation assay. The antibiofilm effect of EGCG with and without LL-37 was analyzed by the minimum biofilm eradication concentration assay and confirmed using field emission-scanning electron microscopy. In addition, the interaction among EGCG, LL-37, and LTA of S. mutans was determined using quartz crystal microbalance analysis.EGCG killed 100 % of planktonic S. mutans within 5 h, inhibited biofilm formation within 24 h, and reduced bacteria cells in preformed biofilms within 3 h at a concentration of 0.2 mg/mL. However, EGCG did not appear to interact with LTA. LL-37 effectively enhanced the bactericidal activity of EGCG against biofilm formation and preformed biofilms as determined by quantitative crystal violet staining and field emission-scanning electron microscopy. In addition, quartz crystal microbalance analysis revealed that LL-37 interacted with EGCG and promoted binding between EGCG and LTA of S. mutans.We show that LL-37 enhances the antibiofilm effect of EGCG on S. mutans. This finding provides new knowledge for dental treatment by using LL-37 as a potential antibiofilm compound.