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J Mol Biol. 2005 Jul 1;350(1):27-41.

Group A streptococcal surface GAPDH, SDH, recognizes uPAR/CD87 as its receptor on the human pharyngeal cell and mediates bacterial adherence to host cells.

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Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis, Public Health Research Institute, At The International Center for Public Health, 225 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07103-3535, USA.


Streptococcal surface dehydrogenase (SDH) is a multifunctional, anchorless protein present on the surface of group A Streptococcus (GAS). It plays a regulatory role in GAS-mediated intracellular signaling events in human pharyngeal cells. Using ligand-binding assays, we have identified an approximately 55 kDa protein as an SDH-specific receptor protein on the surface of Detroit human pharyngeal cells. LC-MS/MS analyses identified this SDH-binding pharyngeal cell-surface-exposed membrane-bound protein as uPAR (urokinase plasminogen activator receptor)/CD87. Ligand-binding assays also revealed that only the N-terminal domain (D1) of uPAR bound to SDH. uPAR-D1 more specifically bound to the C-terminal alpha-helix and two immediate flanking regions of the S-loop of the SDH molecule. Site-directed mutagenesis in GAS resulting in SDH with altered C-terminal ends, and the removal of uPAR from pharyngeal cells by phosphatidylinositol-phopsholipase C treatment decreased GAS ability to adhere to pharyngeal cells. When compared to uninfected Detroit pharyngeal cells, GAS-infected pharyngeal cells showed a transient but a significant increase in the expression of uPAR-specific mRNA, and a prolonged recycling process of uPAR on the cell surface. Together, these results indicate that the specific streptococcal surface protein-pharyngeal cell receptor interaction mediated by SDH and uPAR is modulated during GAS infection of human pharyngeal cells. This interaction significantly contributes to bacterial adherence and thus may play a significant role in GAS pathogenesis by regulating intracellular signaling events in pharyngeal cells.

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