Porphyromonas gingivalis is a likely major pathogen in adult periodontitis. Fimbriae in particular have been suggested as playing an important role in facilitating the initial interaction between the bacteria and the host and triggers host responses. Murakami et al. [Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 192 (1993) 826] have shown that fimbriae of P. gingivalis strongly induced TNF-alpha gene expression in macrophages and expression of TNF-alpha was inhibited by N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, but not inhibited by other sugars. Studies by Sojar et al. [FEBS Lett. 422 (1998) 205] suggested that the oligosaccharide moiety of lactoferrin is involved in the interaction of P. gingivalis fimbriae and human lactoferrin. In the present study, purified fimbriae from P. gingivalis and neoglycoproteins were used to assess lectin-like interaction of fimbriae. In dot blot and overlay assays, iodinated purified P. gingivalis fimbriae as well as biotinylated purified P. gingivalis fimbriae bound strongly to albumin-fucosylamide (albumin-1-amido-1-deoxy-L-fucose) and by lesser extent to albumin-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (albumin-p-aminophenyl-N-acetyl-beta-D-galactosaminide). However, fimbriae failed to bind carbohydrate free bovine serum albumin, which was used in preparation of the neoglycoproteins. These results suggests that P. gingivalis fimbriae bind to glycoconjugates through lectin-like interaction with carbohydrate. This protein-carbohydrate interactions may be important for triggering events in these cells, which mediate the host response of this pathogen.