Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

My Lien Dao, Ph.D.


Collagen, U32 peptidase, Dental root decay, Preterm labor, Fetal membrane


Analysis of the genomic sequences of Streptococcus mutans UA159 and Group B Streptococcus (GBS) strains Streptococcus agalactiae NEM316 and S. agalactiae 2603V/R indicated the presence of two putative collagenase genes in each organism. smcol1 from S. mutans was previously cloned and analyzed and the results indicated that the enzyme belonged to the U32 family of collagenases/peptidases. This enzyme shares homology with the prtC of Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the principal examples of the U32 family of peptidases. Considering the potential role of these enzymes in the pathogenicity of P. gingivalis (periodontitis or gum disease), GBS (premature rupture of the amniochorionic membrane) and S. mutans (dental root decay), it is necessary to study these enzymes and establish their role in the virulence of these organisms. Toward this goal the present study has focused on cloning collagenase 2 (smcol2) from S. mutans and cloning collagenase 1 (gbscol1), and collagenase 2 (gbscol2), from GBS. The information obtained will contribute to a further understanding of the U32 peptidase family.