Salivary agglutinin is a 300–400kDa salivary glycoprotein that binds to antigen B polypeptides of oral streptococci, thereby playing a role in their colonization and the development of caries. A mass spectrum was recorded of a trypsin digest of agglutinin. A dominant peak of 1460Da was sequenced by quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) tandem MS. The sequence showed 100% identity with part of the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (‘SRCR’) domain found in gp-340/DMBT1 (deleted in malignant brain tumours-1). The mass spectrum revealed 11 peaks with an identical mass as a computer-simulated trypsin digest of gp-340. gp-340 is a 340kDa glycoprotein isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid that binds specifically to lung surfactant protein-D. DMBT1 is a candidate tumour suppressor gene. A search in the human genome revealed only one copy of this gene. The molecular mass, as judged from SDS/PAGE and the amino acid composition of agglutinin, was found to be nearly identical with that of gp-340. It was shown by Western blotting that monoclonal antibodies against gp-340 reacted with salivary agglutinin, and monoclonals against agglutinin reacted with gp-340. It was demonstrated that gp-340 and agglutinin bound in a similar way to Streptococcus mutans and surfactant protein-D. Histochemically, the distribution of gp-340 in the submandibular salivary glands was identical with the agglutinin distribution, as shown in a previous paper [Takano, Bogert, Malamud, Lally and Hand (1991) Anat. Rec. 230, 307–318]. We conclude that agglutinin is identical with gp-340, and that this molecule interacts with S. mutans and surfactant protein-D.

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