Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), a gram-negative anaerobe, is involved in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, and is found frequently in the subgingival flora in patients with periodontitis. This organism possesses a variety of virulence factors including lipopolysaccharide, capsular material, fimbriae and proteases (enzymes). Among the P. gingivalis antigens, enzymes such as Arginine-specific gingipains (RgpA, RgpB) and lysine-specific gingipain (Kgp) have been studied for their ability to induce biologically significant antibodies. This review summarizes recent information on the gingipains and their possible application in the development of an anti-P. gingivalis vaccine.
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