Lipoteichoic acid-binding and biological properties of T protein of group A Streptococcus

R. H. Johnson, W. A. Simpson, J. B. Dale, I. Ofek, E. H. Beachey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


T protein was extracted with trypsin from an avirulent, M protein-deficient, type 1 group A Streptococcus and purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and anion-exchange chromatography. The latter procedure removed contaminating lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from the T protein, which consisted of a heterogeneous mixture of polypeptides resistant to digestion by trypsin and ranged in molecular size from 160,000 to 200,000 daltons. Threonine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, lysine, and valine were the most predominant amino acids. The binding of LTA to an affinity column of T protein was reversible with increasing concentrations of ethanol but not with increasing ionic strength. T protein bound less palmitic acid and LTA than did fatty acid-free bovine albumin and did not stimulate human peripheral lymphocytes. Because the surface and cell wall distribution of the T proteins and LTA appear similar, the possibility exists that T proteins and LTA may interact in situ by weakly hydrophobic bonds. Such ligand-ligand interaction may be indirectly involved in the adherence of group A streptococci to host cell membranes that is known to be mediated by LTA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-798
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesR01AI010085


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