Fluoride and gallein inhibit polyphosphate accumulation by oral pathogen Rothia dentocariosa

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The uptake and storage of extracellular orthophosphate (Pi) by polyphosphate (polyP) accumulating bacteria may contribute to mineral dissolution in the oral cavity. To test the effect of potential inhibitors of polyP kinases on Rothia dentocariosa, gallein (0, 25, 50, and 100 μM) and fluoride (0, 50, and 100 ppm) were added to R. dentocariosa cultures grown in brain-heart infusion broth. At a late log growth phase (8 h), extracellular Pi was measured using an ascorbic acid assay, and polyP was isolated from bacterial cells treated with RNA/DNAases using a neutral phenol/chloroform extraction. Extracts were hydrolyzed and quantified as above. Gallein and fluoride had minor effects on bacterial growth with NaF having a direct effect on media pH. Gallein (≥25 μM) and fluoride (≥50 ppm) attenuated the bacterial drawdown of extracellular Pi by 56.7% (P < 0.05) and 37.3% (P < 0.01). There was a corresponding polyP synthesis decrease of 73.2% (P < 0.0001) from gallein and 83.1% (P < 0.0001) from fluoride. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy validated the presence of polyP and its reduced concentration in R. dentocariosa bacterial cells following gallein and fluoride treatment. Rothia dentocariosa can directly change extracellular Pi and accumulate intracellular polyP, but the mechanism is attenuated by gallein and NaF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberovad017
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 16 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Applied Microbiology International.


  • fluoride
  • gallein
  • oral Bacteria
  • phosphate
  • polyphosphate

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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