The type-specific antigens (TSA) or group B streptococcus (GBS) represent the primary virulence factors for these organisms, yet little is known about their relationship to the cell surface of GBS. Crude cell walls of serotype III GBS strain 110 were purified by extraction with sodium dodecyl sulfate, LiCl, and urea, which removed essentially all of the protein associated with the cell wall as determined by amino acid analysis. Only those amino acids found in peptidoglycan were present, which included alanine, lysine, and glutamate (3.5:1:1 molar ratio). In contrast, these procedures resulted in the release of only 4.6% of the wall-associated TSA, indicating that protein was not the primary means by which TSA was bound to the cell surface. Mutanolysin (20 μg/ml) treatment of purified cell walls resulted in the release of 95% of the wall-associated TSA. The covalent association of TSA, the group B polysaccharide, and the peptidoglycan was demonstrated by the presence of N-acetylmuramic acid, rhamnose, alanine, glutamate, and lysine in mutanolysin-extracted TSA material purified by DEAE-Sephacel anion exchange and Sepharose 4B gel chromatography. Chemical analysis of purified cell walls revealed that group B antigen and peptidoglycan comprised 37.4 and 36.5%, respectively, whereas TSA accounted for 22.1 to 24.5% of the weight of the purified walls. Of the total 283.5 mg of TSA produced per 10-liter culture of GBS strain 110, 8.4% was released into the supernatant fluid. The remainder (249 mg) comprised the cell wall antigen. As described above, 4.6% of the cell wall antigen was extractable by nonenzymatic methods, which represented 3.8% of the total TSA, whereas 87.8% of the total TSA produced appeared to be covalently attached to the cell wall.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases