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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

M proteins of group C streptococci isolated from patients with acute pharyngitis.

We studied 15 strains of group C (Streptococcus equi subsp. equisimilis) [corrected] isolated from the throats of college students with acute pharyngitis and 5 strains isolated from patients with noninfectious problems. Nineteen of the 20 strains resisted phagocytic killing during incubation in normal human blood, suggesting that they might express M proteins. Genomic DNA from all 20 strains hybridized with a probe corresponding to the carboxyterminal one-third of the group A M-protein gene emm24, a region that is highly conserved among M proteins of group A and group G streptococci. The DNA sequences of the N-terminal (variable) regions of the M-protein-encoding genes from two disease-associated group C isolates and one control isolate were determined. The predicted amino acid sequences of the two pharyngitis strains were identical and were 88% homologous to the amino acid sequence of a group G M-protein gene. The predicted terminal amino acid sequence of the control strain does not correspond to any such sequences in the GenBank database. All three strains studied possess the conserved region domain common to class I group A M-protein types epidemiologically associated with rheumatic fever. These studies demonstrate the presence of M proteins in strains of S. equi subsp. equisimilis [corrected] isolated in cases of endemically occurring acute pharyngitis. Certain of these proteins are similar to those of group G streptococci, while others may represent new M types. The similarity in structure and function between M proteins of nonrheumatogenic serogroups and those of rheumatogenic group A streptococci suggests that factors other than or in addition to M protein per se are likely involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatic fever.[1]


  1. M proteins of group C streptococci isolated from patients with acute pharyngitis. Bisno, A.L., Collins, C.M., Turner, J.C. J. Clin. Microbiol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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