These three emm genotypes are frequently isolated in clinical practice. Sequencing of the csrRS gene, one of the two-component signal transduction systems implicated in virulence, was performed on 25 strains bearing different amounts of M protein. CsrS mutations, in contrast to CsrR protein, were detected in 11 strains. The M protein-high producer strain of emm1 type carried two amino acid substitutions, whereas the other
three emm1 strains carried only one substitution each. The M protein-high producer expressed its emm gene more strongly than the corresponding M protein-low producer did according to TaqMan RT-PCR. These observations suggest that the accumulation of amino acid substitutions in CsrS protein may contribute, at least in part, to the large amount of M protein production seen in see more several emm genotypes. Streptococcus pyogenes is an important human pathogen with several different clinical selleck kinase inhibitor manifestations. Pharyngitis among school-age children is one of the most common conditions caused by S. pyogenes. In addition, S. pyogenes has been responsible for severe invasive diseases such as sepsis and STSS throughout the world, particularly during the last 20 years (1). Streptococcus
pyogenes produces a virulence determinant, known as M protein, which occurs on the cell surface and has a dimeric alpha-helical coiled-coil structure. Since identification of the species by Rebecca Lancefield, this protein has possibly been one of the best-studied molecules among the known streptococcal virulence determinants. Over the last few decades, possible roles suggested for M protein in streptococcal infection have included: (i) effecting an antiphagocytic function against human neutrophils (2, 3); (ii) promoting MTMR9 adhesion to, and invasion into, epithelial cells (4);
(iii) enabling size variation of the N-terminal region for the purpose of escaping recognition by human antibodies (5, 6); and (iv) forming, through biological reactions, a complex with fibrinogen which triggers vascular leakage (7). Though the role of the M protein as an important virulence factor in S. pyogenes has already been thoroughly characterized, no quantitative assay of clinical isolates has been performed to date. Yet the information that could be provided by this kind of analysis is critical: recent reports have demonstrated that S. pyogenes strains express a number of virulence-related determinants more abundantly after in-vivo passage (8–10), suggesting that quantitative measurement of M protein is essential to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying severe streptococcal infection. Here, we performed a quantitative assay of M protein in 141 field isolates with various emm genotypes and assessed the relationship between the amount of M protein and CsrRS proteins, which have been reported to be involved in the expression of many virulence factors of S.