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PLoS One








Streptococcus mutans is the leading cause of dental caries worldwide by accumulating a glycogen-like internal polysaccharide (IPS) that contributes to cariogenicity when sugars are in excess. Sodium monofluorophosphate (MFP) is an active anticariogenic compound in toothpastes. Herein, we show that MFP inhibits (with an I0.5 of 1.5 mM) the S. mutans ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (EC, which catalyzes the key step in IPS biosynthesis. Enzyme inhibition by MFP is similar to orthophosphate (Pi), except that the effect caused by MFP is not reverted by fructose-1,6-bisP, as occurs with Pi. Inhibition was correlated with a decrease in acidogenesis and IPS accumulation in S. mutans cells cultured with 2 mM sodium MFP. These effects were not mimicked by sodium fluoride. Considering that glycogen synthesis occurs by different pathways in mammals and bacteria, ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase could be visualized as a molecular target for controlling S. mutans virulence. Our results strongly suggest that MFP is a suitable compound to affect such a target, inducing an anticariogenic effect primarily by inhibiting a key step in IPS synthesis.


Author Posting. © The Authors 2017. This article is posted here by permission of the Public Library of Science for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in PLoS One, vol. 12, no. 1, 2017,

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