Protein Data Bank

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The Protein Data Bank Assignment: Glucansucrase

After I came to America, I have already met my dentist many times. Although I brush my teeth three times a day, use floss correctly and meet dentist every year, I don’t know why my teeth keep in trouble and get cavities again and again. I really want to figure out why the bacteria from my mouth cannot be removed. When I am finding some protein, I found that Glucansucrase which is related on the issue of tooth decay. I think Glucansucrase should be very interesting for people who have tooth problem just like me.

Glucansucrase is an enzyme used by bacteria in our human mouths to produce long sticky biofilm chains to stick teeth and cause tooth decay1. From the Protein Data Bank, I know that the bacteria use the Glucansucrase to build long, sticky chains of sugars called glucans. These glucans glue the bacteria to the surfaces of the teeth and form a biofilm which is difficult to remove2. Glucansucrase has two reactions2. Firstly, the enzyme breaks sucrose into glucose and fructose. The fructose will be released, and the glucose will go to glucan chain. Glucansucrases are large proteins with many domains. These reactions are performed in the central portion of the enzyme, which is included in this structure. The enzyme also includes additional domains that anchor the enzyme to existing glucan chains.

The Groningen (Netherland) professors have deciphered the structure and functional mechanism of the Glucansucrase enzyme3. The researchers expect that specific inhibitors for the glucansucrase enzyme may help to prevent attachment of the bacteria to the tooth enamel. Information about the structure and functional mechanism of enzyme is crucial for developing such inhibitors. However, many various inhibitors studied not only blocked the Glucansucrase, but also the digestive enzyme amylase in our saliva, which is needed to degrade starch. Therefore, lots of researches need to be proved...
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