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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Feb;6(1):50-5.

IdeS and SpeB: immunoglobulin-degrading cysteine proteinases of Streptococcus pyogenes.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Section for Molecular Pathogenesis, Lund University, Biomedical Research Centre, B14, SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden.


The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes is a major human pathogen causing substantial morbidity and mortality in society. S. pyogenes has evolved numerous molecular mechanisms to avoid the various actions of the human immune system and has established means to modulate both adaptive and innate immune responses. S. pyogenes produces and secretes proteolytic enzymes, which have an important impact on the ability of the bacteria to survive in the human host. Prominent among these are two immunoglobulin-degrading enzymes: the newly discovered streptococcal cysteine proteinase, IdeS, and the classical cysteine proteinase of S. pyogenes, SpeB.

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