Streptococcal protein fog: A novel matrix adhesin interacting with colagen I in vivo.

Patric Nitsche, Helena Linge, Inga-Maria Frick, Matthias Mörgelin

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Group G streptococcus (GGS) is a human pathogen of emerging clinical significance. It causes skin and soft tissue infections, occasionally resulting in life-threatening conditions such as sepsis and necrotizing fasciitis. We recently identified FOG, a novel surface protein of GGS with fibrinogen binding and immune evasion properties. Here we investigated the role of FOG in streptococcal primary adhesion to host tissue. A FOG-expressing clinical isolate adhered more efficiently to human skin biopsies ex vivo and to the murine dermis in vivo than a FOG-deficient strain. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of skin specimens exhibited that this property was assigned to the ability of FOG to interact with collagen I, a major interstitial component of the dermis. Overlay experiments with human skin extracts and radiolabeled FOG followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry analysis identified both the alpha 1- and alpha 2-chains of collagen I as targets for FOG. Transmission electron microscopy of the molecular complexes revealed thread-like FOG molecules binding via their NH2 termini to distinct sites on collagen I monomers and fibrils. The results demonstrate that FOG is important for GGS adhesion in vivo, implying a pathogenic role for this surface protein.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1670-1679
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Clinical Medicine
  • Infectious Medicine


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