A novel endogenous inhibitor of the secreted streptococcal NAD-glycohydrolase

Michael A. Meehl, Jerome S. Pinkner, Patricia J. Anderson, Scott J. Hultgren, Michael G. Caparon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The Streptococcus pyogenes NAD-glycohydrolase (SPN) is a toxic enzyme that is introduced into infected host cells by the cytolysin-mediated translocation pathway. However, how S. pyogenes protects itself from the self-toxicity of SPN had been unknown. In this report, we describe immunity factor for SPN (IFS), a novel endogenous inhibitor that is essential for SPN expression. A small protein of 161 amino acids, IFS is localized in the bacterial cytoplasmic compartment. IFS forms a stable complex with SPN at a 1:1 molar ratio and inhibits SPN's NAD-glycohydrolase activity by acting as a competitive inhibitor of its β-NAD+ substrate. Mutational studies revealed that the gene for IFS is essential for viability in those S. pyogenes strains that express an NAD-glycohydrolase activity. However, numerous strains contain a truncated allele of ifs that is linked to an NAD-glycohydrolase-deficient variant allele of spn. Of practical concern, IFS allowed the normally toxic SPN to be produced in the heterologous host Escherichia coli to facilitate its purification. To our knowledge, IFS is the first molecularly characterized endogenous inhibitor of a bacterial β-NAD+-consuming toxin and may contribute protective functions in the streptococci to afford SPN-mediated pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere35
Pages (from-to)362-372
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

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