Overlapping substrate specificity for sucrose and maltose of two binding protein-dependent sugar uptake systems in Streptococcus mutans. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sugar metabolism by Streptococcus mutans is associated with tooth decay. The most abundant sugars in the human diet are sucrose and maltose, a derivative of starch. Previously, we reported a binding protein-dependent transport system (msm) in S. mutans that transports sucrose and maltose, but its associated enzymes do not metabolize maltose. By searching the S. mutans genomic sequence for a maltose system (mal), we found a gene cluster encoding proteins with homology to those of msm and the Escherichia coli maltose system. Mutants were constructed by deleting msm or mal, or both, and tested for sugar utilization. Deletion of the mal system diminished the ability of S. mutans to ferment maltose, but deletion of only the mal transporter genes or msm showed reduced utilization of chromogenic maltosides. Maltose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, mannose, and N-acetyl glucosamine inhibited utilization of chromogenic maltosides by the wild-type strain and mutants. In conclusion, the two binding protein-dependent systems in S. mutans appear to transport collaboratively their common substrate sugars, notably sucrose and maltose.

published proceedings

  • FEMS Microbiol Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Kilic, A. O., Honeyman, A. L., & Tao, L

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Kilic, Ali O||Honeyman, Allen L||Tao, Lin

publication date

  • January 2007