Non-Immune Binding of Human IgG to M-Related Proteins Confers Resistance to Phagocytosis of Group A Streptococci in Blood
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Non-Immune Binding of Human IgG to M-Related Proteins Confers Resistance to Phagocytosis of Group A Streptococci in Blood

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      PLoS One
    • Description:
      The non-immune binding of immunoglobulins by bacteria is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of infections. M-related proteins (Mrp) are group A streptococcal (GAS) receptors for immunoglobulins, but it is not known if this binding has any impact on virulence. To further investigate the binding of immunoglobulins to Mrp, we engineered mutants of an M type 4 strain of GAS by inactivating the genes for mrp, emm, enn, sof, and sfbX and tested these mutants in IgG-binding assays. Inactivation of mrp dramatically decreased the binding of human IgG, whereas inactivation of emm, enn, sof, and sfbx had only minor effects, indicating that Mrp is a major IgG-binding protein. Binding of human immunoglobulins to a purified, recombinant form of Mrp indicated that it selectively binds to the Fc domain of human IgG, but not IgA or IgM and that it preferentially bound subclasses IgG1>IgG4>IgG2>IgG3. Recombinant proteins encompassing different regions of Mrp were engineered and used to map its IgG-binding domain to its A-repeat region and a recombinant protein with 3 A-repeats was a better inhibitor of IgG binding than one with a single A-repeat. A GAS mutant expressing Mrp with an in-frame deletion of DNA encoding the A-repeats had a dramatically reduced ability to bind human IgG and to grow in human blood. Mrp exhibited host specificity in binding IgG; human IgG was the best inhibitor of the binding of IgG followed by pig, horse, monkey, and rabbit IgG. IgG from goat, mouse, rat, cow, donkey, chicken, and guinea pig were poor inhibitors of binding. These findings indicate that Mrp preferentially binds human IgG and that this binding contributes to the ability of GAS to resist phagocytosis and may be a factor in the restriction of GAS infections to the human host.
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