Expression of protein F, the fibronectin-binding protein of Streptococcus pyogenes JRS4, in heterologous streptococcal and enterococcal strains promotes their adherence to respiratory epithelial cells

E. Hanski, P. A. Horwitz, M. G. Caparon

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Abstract

In a previous study we reported the identification of protein F, a fibronectin-binding protein that was essential to the ability of Streptococcus pyogenes JRS4 to adhere to respiratory epithelial cells (E. Hanski and M. Caparon, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89:6172-6176, 1992). To further evaluate the role of protein F in the adherence of the group A streptococci, we screened other group A streptococcal strains, including six recent clinical isolates, and one strain of Enterococcus faecalis for their capacity to bind fibronectin and for the presence of the gene encoding protein F (prtF). Seven of eight group A streptococcal strains analyzed, including all recent clinical isolates, both bound fibronectin at high affinity and contained DNA sequences that hybridized with a prtF-specific probe. One group A streptococcal isolate and the strain of E. faecalis examined neither contained a prtF-related gene nor bound fibronectin. These two strains also could not efficiently adhere to respiratory epithelial cells. However, upon the introduction of the cloned prtF gene, both of these strains gained the capacity to bind fibronectin and to adhere to respiratory epithelial cells. These results suggest that protein F is an important adhesin, which may have a general role in the virulence of the group A streptococci.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5119-5125
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume60
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 9 1992

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