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Vet Microbiol. 2013 Dec 27;167(3-4):584-91. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.09.010. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Subcytolytic effects of suilysin on interaction of Streptococcus suis with epithelial cells.

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Institute for Microbiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany. Electronic address:


Suilysin is a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin secreted by Streptococcus suis (S. suis), an important swine and zoonotic pathogen. The role of suilysin in S. suis host-cell interaction is still unclear. We found a higher adherence and invasion rate of an unencapsulated sly-positive strain in comparison to its isogenic sly-negative mutant. Electron microscopy revealed that formation of membrane ruffles accompanying invasion of the sly-positive strain was abolished in the sly-negative mutant. Inhibition experiments showed that the actin cytoskeleton was involved in suilysin-mediated effects. Point-mutation of the domain putatively responsible for macropore-formation resulted in abolished hemolytic and cytolysin activity, but had no effect on S. suis host cell association. Concluding, our results indicate that subcytolytic suilysin promotes S. suis association with epithelial cells.


Cholesterol-dependent cytolysin; Streptococcus suis; Suilysin

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