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Journal of Clinical Periodontology

LL-37 in periodontal health and disease and its susceptibility to degradation by proteinases present in gingival crevicular fluid

Authors

  • Maelíosa T. C. McCrudden,

    1. Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
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    • These authors contributed equally to the study.
  • David F. Orr,

    1. Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK
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    • These authors contributed equally to the study.
  • Yang Yu,

    1. Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
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  • Wilson A. Coulter,

    1. Centre for Dentistry, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
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  • Gwen Manning,

    1. Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Ireland
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  • Chris R. Irwin,

    1. Centre for Dentistry, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
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  • Fionnuala T. Lundy

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
    • Address:

      Fionnuala T. Lundy, Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences Building, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AE, UK

      E-mail: f.lundy@qub.ac.uk

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  • Conflict of interest and sources of funding statement

    The study was supported by the HSC Public Health Agency Research & Development office. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest in this study.

Abstract

Aim

To determine the levels of LL-37 in and its susceptibility to degradation by components of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) in periodontal health and disease.

Materials and Methods

Levels of LL-37 in GCF from periodontitis patients and periodontally healthy subjects were determined by ELISA. In addition, degradation of synthetic/exogenous LL-37 by components of GCF in the presence and absence of inhibitors was determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry.

Results

The concentration of native LL-37 in GCF from Porphyromonas gingivalis positive (Pg+) and P. gingivalis negative (Pg-) sites in periodontitis patients was significantly higher than in GCF from healthy subjects. When synthetic LL-37 was added to healthy GCF, the peptide was not degraded. Conversely, GCF from Pg+ sites rapidly degraded synthetic LL-37 which was prevented in the presence of Arg− and Lys− gingipain inhibitors. Synthetic LL-37 was degraded more slowly by GCF from Pg− sites.

Conclusions

LL-37 is detectable in GCF in periodontal health and disease. The rapid degradation of synthetic LL-37 in periodontitis GCF, particularly in Pg+ sites, limits its role as a potential therapeutic in the gingival crevice. These results highlight the need to design stable peptide mimetics of LL-37 as future therapeutics in periodontitis.

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