Analysis of a novel prophage-encoded Group A Streptococcus extracellular phospholipase A2

Michal J. Nagiec, Benfang Lei, Sarah K. Parker, Michael L. Vasil, Masakado Matsumoto, Robin M. Ireland, Stephen B. Beres, Nancy P. Hoe, James M. Musser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is an important human pathogen that causes many types of infections, including pharyngitis and severe invasive diseases. We recently sequenced the genome of a serotype M3 strain and identified a prophage-encoded secreted phospholipase A2 designated SlaA. To study SlaA structure-activity relationships, 20 site-specific mutants were constructed by alanine-replacement mutagenesis and purified to apparent homogeneity. Enzymatic activity was greatly reduced by alanine replacement of amino acid residues previously described as crucial in the catalytic mechanism of secreted phospholipase A2. Similarly, substitution of five residues in an inferred Ca2+-binding loop and three residues in the inferred active site region resulted in loss of activity of 76.5% or greater relative to the wild-type enzyme. Analysis of enzyme substrate specificity confirmed SlaA as a phospholipase A2, with activity against multiple phospholipid head groups and acyl chains located at the sn-2 position. PCR analysis of 1,189 GAS strains representing 48 M protein serotypes commonly causing human infections identified the slaA gene in 129 strains of nine serotypes (M1, M2, M3, M4, M6, M22, M28, M75, and st3757). Expression of SlaA by strains of these serotypes was confirmed by Western immunoblot. SlaA production increased rapidly and substantially on co-culture with Detroit 562 human pharyngeal epithelial cells. Together, these data provide new information about a novel extracellular enzyme that participates in GAS-human interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45909-45918
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Oct 29 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of a novel prophage-encoded Group A Streptococcus extracellular phospholipase A2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this