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FEBS Lett. 1993 Sep 27;331(1-2):187-92.

Cloning, characterization and overexpression of a Streptococcus pyogenes gene encoding a new type of mitogenic factor.

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Shionogi Institute for Medical Science, Osaka, Japan.


A new type of mitogenic factor, termed MF, has been found in the culture supernatant of Streptococcus pyogenes and its N-terminal amino acid sequence has been determined. On the basis of this sequence, an S. pyogenes gene encoding MF was cloned and its nucleotide sequence was determined. The MF gene includes a long, open reading frame with 813 nucleotides capable of encoding the MF precursor protein with 271 amino acids. Removal of the putative 43 residues as a signal peptide results in the mature MF protein with 228 amino acids. The molecular mass of the mature MF is calculated as 25,363 which is consistent with the previously determined value of 25,370 for MF secreted from S. pyogenes. Neither nucleotide nor amino acid sequence homology was found between the mature MF and other streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins, such as SPE A, SPE B and SPE C. The mature MF was recombinantly overexpressed as a fusion protein with glutathione S-transferase in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein showed mitogenic activity in rabbit peripheral blood lymphocytes and immunoreactivity with the rabbit antiserum raised against the secreted MF from S. pyogenes. These data indicate that a unique gene encoding MF was cloned from S. pyogenes.

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