Lin Zeng

Lin Zeng, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Department: DN-ORAL BIOLOGY
Business Phone: (352) 273-8868
Business Email: lzeng@dental.ufl.edu

About Lin Zeng

Lin Zeng graduated from Nankai University, Tianjin, China with a bachelor’s degree, and finished his PhD training in molecular genetics and Microbiology at UF in 2004. He started his research career as a postdoc here at UF dental school by focusing on dental caries and the underlying molecular mechanisms. He has devoted his time to both research and education, training undergraduate, graduate and dental students, postdocs, and visiting scholars. He currently serves as a Research Associate Professor at the Department of Oral Biology.

Research Profile

My research focuses on the metabolism of carbohydrates by oral bacteria, specifically how sugars affect bacterial behavior at the molecular level and contribute to oral health and diseases. Dental caries is the most prevalent infectious disease in humans, a condition caused by microbiome dysbiosis, or loss of balance in bacterial diversity, with overconsumption of sugar being the number one risk factor. The best defense against dental caries is a healthy microbiome. Our research has identified important features in sugar metabolism that separate pathogens from health-associated bacteria, and provided understanding in how these differences contribute to bacterial competitiveness and affect the virulence potential of dental plaque. One such example is our recent discovery that amino sugars may be able to modulate bacterial behavior in model systems to the detriment of a well-known caries pathogen, Streptococcus mutans. The ultimate goal of our program is to provide basic understanding needed to create or improve upon therapeutics toward more effective caries control.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

0000-0002-9269-2707

Areas of Interest
  • Bacterial genetics
  • Bacterial pathogenesis
  • Bacterial physiology
  • Biofilm
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Dental caries
  • Microbiome

Publications

2021
Molecular mechanisms controlling fructose-specific memory and catabolite repression in lactose metabolism by Streptococcus mutans.
Molecular microbiology. 115(1):70-83 [DOI] 10.1111/mmi.14597. [PMID] 32881130.
2021
Mutanofactin promotes adhesion and biofilm formation of cariogenic Streptococcus mutans.
Nature chemical biology. 17(5):576-584 [DOI] 10.1038/s41589-021-00745-2. [PMID] 33664521.
2021
Spontaneous Mutants of Streptococcus sanguinis with Defects in the Glucose-PTS Show Enhanced Post-Exponential Phase Fitness
Journal of Bacteriology. [DOI] 10.1128/jb.00375-21.
2021
Subpopulation behaviors in lactose metabolism by Streptococcus mutans.
Molecular microbiology. 115(1):58-69 [DOI] 10.1111/mmi.14596. [PMID] 32881164.
2021
The Route of Sucrose Utilization by Streptococcus mutans Affects Intracellular Polysaccharide Metabolism.
Frontiers in microbiology. 12 [DOI] 10.3389/fmicb.2021.636684. [PMID] 33603728.
2020
Amino Sugars Reshape Interactions between Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus gordonii
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 87(1) [DOI] 10.1128/aem.01459-20.
2019
Amino Sugars Modify Antagonistic Interactions between Commensal Oral Streptococci and Streptococcus mutans
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 85(10) [DOI] 10.1128/aem.00370-19.
2019
Essential Roles of the sppRA Fructose-Phosphate Phosphohydrolase Operon in Carbohydrate Metabolism and Virulence Expression by Streptococcus mutans.
Journal of bacteriology. 201(2) [DOI] 10.1128/JB.00586-18. [PMID] 30348833.
2019
The Biology of Streptococcus mutans.
Microbiology spectrum. 7(1) [DOI] 10.1128/microbiolspec.GPP3-0051-2018. [PMID] 30657107.
2018
Biology of Oral Streptococci.
Microbiology spectrum. 6(5) [DOI] 10.1128/microbiolspec.GPP3-0042-2018. [PMID] 30338752.
2018
Genomewide Identification of Essential Genes and Fitness Determinants of Streptococcus mutans UA159.
mSphere. 3(1) [DOI] 10.1128/mSphere.00031-18. [PMID] 29435491.
2018
Preferred Hexoses Influence Long-Term Memory in and Induction of Lactose Catabolism by Streptococcus mutans.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 84(14) [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.00864-18. [PMID] 29752268.
2017
Coordinated Regulation of the EIIMan and fruRKI Operons of Streptococcus mutans by Global and Fructose-Specific Pathways.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 83(21) [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.01403-17. [PMID] 28821551.
2016
Amino Sugars Enhance the Competitiveness of Beneficial Commensals with Streptococcus mutans through Multiple Mechanisms.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 82(12):3671-82 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.00637-16. [PMID] 27084009.
2016
Effects of Carbohydrate Source on Genetic Competence in Streptococcus mutans.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 82(15):4821-4834 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.01205-16. [PMID] 27260355.
2016
Sucrose- and Fructose-Specific Effects on the Transcriptome of Streptococcus mutans, as Determined by RNA Sequencing.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 82(1):146-56 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.02681-15. [PMID] 26475108.
2015
NagR Differentially Regulates the Expression of the glmS and nagAB Genes Required for Amino Sugar Metabolism by Streptococcus mutans.
Journal of bacteriology. 197(22):3533-44 [DOI] 10.1128/JB.00606-15. [PMID] 26324448.
2015
The Streptococcus mutans irvA gene encodes a trans-acting riboregulatory mRNA.
Molecular cell. 57(1):179-90 [DOI] 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.11.003. [PMID] 25574948.
2014
Fueling the caries process: carbohydrate metabolism and gene regulation by Streptococcus mutans.
Journal of oral microbiology. 6 [DOI] 10.3402/jom.v6.24878. [PMID] 25317251.
2014
Modification of gene expression and virulence traits in Streptococcus mutans in response to carbohydrate availability.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 80(3):972-85 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.03579-13. [PMID] 24271168.
2014
Uptake and metabolism of N-acetylglucosamine and glucosamine by Streptococcus mutans.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 80(16):5053-67 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.00820-14. [PMID] 24928869.
2013
A galactose-specific sugar: phosphotransferase permease is prevalent in the non-core genome of Streptococcus mutans.
Molecular oral microbiology. 28(4):292-301 [DOI] 10.1111/omi.12025. [PMID] 23421335.
2013
Comprehensive mutational analysis of sucrose-metabolizing pathways in Streptococcus mutans reveals novel roles for the sucrose phosphotransferase system permease.
Journal of bacteriology. 195(4):833-43 [DOI] 10.1128/JB.02042-12. [PMID] 23222725.
2013
Evolutionary and Population Genomics of the Cavity Causing Bacteria Streptococcus Mutans
Molecular Biology and Evolution. 30(4):881-893 [DOI] 10.1093/molbev/mss278. [PMID] 23228887.
2013
Gene regulation by CcpA and catabolite repression explored by RNA-Seq in Streptococcus mutans.
PloS one. 8(3) [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0060465. [PMID] 23555977.
2013
Phenotypic heterogeneity of genomically-diverse isolates of Streptococcus mutans.
PloS one. 8(4) [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0061358. [PMID] 23613838.
2012
Progress dissecting the oral microbiome in caries and health.
Advances in dental research. 24(2):77-80 [DOI] 10.1177/0022034512449462. [PMID] 22899685.
2012
Two gene clusters coordinate galactose and lactose metabolism in Streptococcus gordonii.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 78(16):5597-605 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.01393-12. [PMID] 22660715.
2011
Genetic analysis of the functions and interactions of components of the LevQRST signal transduction complex of Streptococcus mutans.
PloS one. 6(2) [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0017335. [PMID] 21364902.
2011
The EIIABMan phosphotransferase system permease regulates carbohydrate catabolite repression in Streptococcus gordonii.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 77(6):1957-65 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.02385-10. [PMID] 21239541.
2010
Seryl-phosphorylated HPr regulates CcpA-independent carbon catabolite repression in conjunction with PTS permeases in Streptococcus mutans.
Molecular microbiology. 75(5):1145-58 [DOI] 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.07029.x. [PMID] 20487301.
2010
Utilization of lactose and galactose by Streptococcus mutans: transport, toxicity, and carbon catabolite repression.
Journal of bacteriology. 192(9):2434-44 [DOI] 10.1128/JB.01624-09. [PMID] 20190045.
2009
AguR is required for induction of the Streptococcus mutans agmatine deiminase system by low pH and agmatine.
Applied and environmental microbiology. 75(9):2629-37 [DOI] 10.1128/AEM.02145-08. [PMID] 19270124.
2009
Invasion of Human Coronary Artery Endothelial Cells By Streptococcus Mutans Omz175
Oral microbiology and immunology. 24(2):141-145 [DOI] 10.1111/j.1399-302X.2008.00487.x. [PMID] 19239641.
2009
Opportunities for disrupting cariogenic biofilms.
Advances in dental research. 21(1):17-20 [DOI] 10.1177/0895937409335593. [PMID] 19710079.
2009
Transcriptional regulation of the cellobiose operon of Streptococcus mutans.
Journal of bacteriology. 191(7):2153-62 [DOI] 10.1128/JB.01641-08. [PMID] 19168613.
2008
CcpA regulates central metabolism and virulence gene expression in Streptococcus mutans.
Journal of bacteriology. 190(7):2340-9 [DOI] 10.1128/JB.01237-07. [PMID] 18223086.
2008
Multiple sugar: phosphotransferase system permeases participate in catabolite modification of gene expression in Streptococcus mutans.
Molecular microbiology. 70(1):197-208 [DOI] 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06403.x. [PMID] 18699864.
2007
Regulatory role of PopN and its interacting partners in type III secretion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Journal of bacteriology. 189(7):2599-609 [PMID] 17237176.
View on: PubMed
2006
A novel signal transduction system and feedback loop regulate fructan hydrolase gene expression in Streptococcus mutans.
Molecular microbiology. 62(1):187-200 [PMID] 16987177.
View on: PubMed
2006
Characterization of cis-acting sites controlling arginine deiminase gene expression in Streptococcus gordonii.
Journal of bacteriology. 188(3):941-9 [PMID] 16428398.
View on: PubMed
2003
aph(3′)-IIb, a gene encoding an aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme, is under the positive control of surrogate regulator HpaA.
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 47(12):3867-76 [PMID] 14638496.
View on: PubMed
2003
Regulation of membrane permeability by a two-component regulatory system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 47(1):95-101 [PMID] 12499175.
View on: PubMed
Amino Sugars Modify Antagonistic Interactions between Commensal Oral Streptococci andStreptococcus mutans
. [DOI] 10.1101/551168.
Amino Sugars Reshape Interactions between Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus gordonii
. [DOI] 10.1101/2020.06.22.166272.
Spontaneous Mutants of Streptococcus sanguinis with Defects in the Glucose-PTS Show Enhanced Post-Exponential Phase Fitness
. [DOI] 10.1101/2021.07.15.452590.

Grants

Jul 2018 ACTIVE
Gene Regulation and Physiology of Streptococcus mutans
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIDCR
Dec 2014 – Nov 2017
Utilization of N-acetylglucosamine by Streptococcus mutans and its regulation
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIDCR

Education

PhD
2004 · University of Florida
MS
1998 · Nankai University
BS
1995 · Nankai University

Teaching Profile

Courses Taught
2021
GMS6162 Oral Microbiology and Immunology

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(352) 273-8868
Emails: