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Arch Microbiol. 2004 Jan;181(1):74-81. Epub 2003 Dec 12.

Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis of the abundance of virulent exoproteins of group A streptococcus caused by environmental changes.

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Department of Molecular Bacteriology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, 466-8550 Nagoya, Japan.


Group A streptococci regulate the expression of virulence factors in response to environmental change. In order to investigate this mechanism, the growth of group A streptococci and the abundance of virulent exoprotein production in culture supernatant were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-D electrophoresis) under several culture conditions. Judging from alterations in their growth, group A streptococci were affected by various environmental stresses. Under high O(2) and low CO(2 )concentrations, streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB) and streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin F (SpeF) significantly decreased, and the streptococcal inhibitor of complement (Sic) increased. At 30 degrees C, increases in endo-beta- N-acetylglucosaminidase (EndoS) and alpha-amylase were also detected, while at 41 degrees C EndoS became undetectable and SpeB and SpeF decreased. Sic, SpeF and mitogenic factor 3 (Mf3) decreased when cells were cultured in higher NaCl concentrations, and EndoS disappeared following culture of the cells in high glucose concentration. An increase in acid phosphatase and a decrease in several other proteins were detected when the cells were cultivated in high iron concentrations. These results suggest that group A streptococci have a versatile adaptation system that responds to several environmental stresses by altering the level of exoprotein production.

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