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Microb Pathog. 1997 Apr;22(4):227-34.

Insertional inactivation of streptolysin S expression is associated with altered riboflavin metabolism in Streptococcus pyogenes.

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Department of Human Microbiology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.


Transposon Tn916 mutagenesis was used to create a mutant of Streptococcus pyogenes M type 3, designated ISS417, in which the ability to produce streptolysin S (SLS) and several other exoproteins was impaired. Concomitantly, the mutant became dependent upon riboflavin for growth and was able to grow in Todd Hewitt broth (THB) when supplemented with riboflavin or riboflavinrich yeast extract. The parent strain was apparently able to utilize THB-derived components as a substitute for riboflavin, while the mutant was not. Although the parent strain grew well in synthetic medium, it was unable to produce SLS, except when it was supplemented with a small amount of THB. Thus, a component of THB was able to "trigger" SLS formation in the parent strain. The mutant grew well in this medium, but was unable to produce SLS even when it was supplemented with THB. Southern hybridization analysis revealed that the ISS417 mutant harbours a single transposon insertion in its chromosome. Phage transduction experiments showed that the riboflavin dependency and the inability to make SLS phenotypes are co-transducible. The pleotrophic properties of the ISS417 mutant differ from those reported for insertional inactivation of the mga locus which regulates production of a number of surface proteins in S. pyogenes and the sar locus which regulates production of a number of exoproteins in Staphylococcus aureus. In view of the possibility that there exist a genetic linkage between the riboflavin biosynthetic pathway and expression of the oxygen-stable SLS, we hypothesize that SLS has a role in the growth economy of S. pyogenes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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