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Periodontitis is a bacterially induced and maintained chronic inflammatory disease of the periodontium, in a severe form affecting more than 10% of the human population, which leads to the destruction of the tooth-supporting tissues and eventual tooth loss. Epigenetic changes in protein acetylation are critically important in the control of inflammatory responses. However, surprisingly little is known about the effects of periodontal pathogens on the protein acetylation system in host cells. In this project we will: 
  • analyze changes in expression and activity of the acetylation system components in gingival tissue from periodontitis patients
  • determine how the periodontal pathogen P. gingivalis affects the acetylation system in vitro in structural cells of the gingival tissue
  • to test if manipulation of acetylation regulators in vitro can revert/modulate the pathological consequences of altered protein acetylation in the host cells caused by P. gingivalis.
Results of these experiments will allow us to comprehensively map epigenetic changes in protein acetylation in periodontitis, alongside their underlying molecular drivers. They will also provide critical information on the therapeutic potential of targeting the protein acetylation system in this disease. 
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 665778.