2013 Funded Project

CFDHRE Peer Reviewed Grant-$8,000
Recipients: Dr.Ava K. Chow, RDH, DipDH, BSc, MSc, PhD,Lead Principal Applicant and Rebecca Lee, RDH, DipDH, BSc, Co-applicant (Student in Masters in Medical - Oral Biology program)

Project Title:
Caveolin-1 mediated internalization of P. gingivalis in human gingival fibroblasts

Though there is evidence to show that Porphyromonas gingivalis is a causative agent of periodontal disease, the mechanism by which P. gingivalis acts and is resistant to conventional treatment, is largely unknown.

The proposed work will investigate how P. gingivalis may evade host immune response and antibiotic treatment by internalizing into host cells. The work will specifically examine the role of the caveolin-1 (Cav-1) protein in regulating the internalization of P. gingivalis components into gingival fibroblasts, the most common cell in the periodontium. Initial stages of the project will explore the localization and interaction of P. gingivalis cellular components with Cav-1, while later stages of the work will investigate the role Cav-1 plays in the internalization of P. gingivalis into gingival fibroblasts.

This work will form the basis of a thesis-based Masters of Science in Oral Biology for a highly qualified registered dental hygienist (RDH) who will be responsible for conducting experiments and analyzing data. This project will provide training in basic molecular and cell biology techniques and help the student develop critical thinking skills in an area that is highly underserved, but relevant to dental hygiene.

Insights into the mechanisms involved in P. gingivalis evasion of host response may lead not only to an understanding of how oral health issues can translate to systemic health problems, but also to the eventual development of novel pharmacological treatments or therapies that can alleviate the burden of periodontal disease for all Canadians.