Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Most group A streptococcal strains are able to bind immunoglobulin (lg) in a non-immune manner, and the majority of these strains bind both IgA and IgG. Using molecular cloning and immunochemical techniques, we have purified and characterized the Ig Fc-receptors expressed by four such strains. Two of the strains express a novel type of receptor, designated protein Sir, which binds IgA and IgG of all subclasses, and therefore has broader reactivity than any Fc-receptor previously described. The other two strains express protein Arp, a receptor that binds IgA of both subclasses, and also binds potyclonal IgG weakly. Characterization of the weak IgG-binding ability of protein Arp shows that it binds only some monoclonal IgG proteins, in particular those of the IgG3 subclass. The four strains studied here were unexpectedly found to also express a second Ig-receptor, called protein Mrp, encoded by a gene closely linked to the gene for the first receptor. The Mrp protein does not bind IgA, but it binds IgG molecules of the IgG1, IgG2 and tgG4 subclasses, and it also binds fibrinogen. Binding of fibrinogen has been reported to be a characteristic property of streptococcal M proteins, which suggests that the Mrp protein may be an M protein that also binds Ig. Taken together, all available evidence now indicates that most strains of group A streptococci express two different Ig-binding proteins, encoded by closely linked genes.
Type of Medium: