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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 Sep 15;178(2):305-11.

SfbII protein, a fibronectin binding surface protein of group A streptococci, is a serum opacity factor with high serotype-specific apolipoproteinase activity.

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GBF-National Research Center for Biotechnology, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany.


Serum opacity factor (SOF) is produced by group A streptococci belonging to certain M types. SOF cleaves the apolipoprotein component of the high density lipoprotein fraction of serum rendering it insoluble which in turn leads to serum opacity. SfbII protein, a fibronectin binding surface protein cloned from group A streptococci, was obtained from a strain of M75. Here we show that this protein has a second functional domain responsible for SOF activity. The fibronectin binding region was located in the C-terminal end of the protein. Deletion analysis showed that the remainder of the protein was required for SOF activity. Sequence analysis of SfbII, when compared with the published sequence of SOF22, showed 99% identity with a difference of only four amino acids. In spite of this high homology, SOF from M75 was type-specific and antibody evoked specifically inhibited only SOF produced by M75. Antibodies found in human serum following natural infection also inhibited the SOF of SfbII in a type-specific manner. The results showed that the SfbII protein from M75 is SOF with a high serotype-specific enzyme activity.

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