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1.  Superantigen profiles of emm and emm-like typeable and nontypeable pharyngeal streptococcal isolates of South India 
Background
The major virulence factors determining the pathogenicity of streptococcal strains include M protein encoded by emm and emm-like (emmL) genes and superantigens. In this study, the distribution of emm, emmL and superantigen genes was analyzed among the streptococcal strains isolated from the patients of acute pharyngitis.
Methods
The streptococcal strains were isolated from the throat swabs of 1040 patients of acute pharyngitis. The emm and emmL genes were PCR amplified from each strain and sequenced to determine the emm types. The dot-blot hybridization was performed to confirm the pathogens as true emm nontypeable strains. The presence of eleven currently known superantigens was determined in all the strains by multiplex PCR.
Results
Totally, 124 beta-hemolytic streptococcal strains were isolated and they were classified as group A streptococcus (GAS) [15.3% (19/124)], group C streptococcus (GCS) [59.7% (74/124)] and group G streptococcus (GGS) [25.0% (31/124)]. Among 124 strains, only 35 strains were emm typeable and the remaining 89 strains were emm nontypeable. All GAS isolates were typeable, whereas most of the GCS and GGS strains were nontypeable. These nontypeable strains belong to S. anginosus [75.3% (67/89)] and S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis [24.7% (22/89)]. The emm and emmL types identified in this study include emm12.0 (28.6%), stG643.0 (28.6%), stC46.0 (17.0%), emm30.11 (8.5%), emm3.0 (2.9%), emm48.0 (5.7%), st3343.0 (2.9%), emm107.0 (2.9%) and stS104.2 (2.9%). Various superantigen profiles were observed in typeable as well as nontypeable strains.
Conclusions
Multiplex PCR analysis revealed the presence of superantigens in all the typeable strains irrespective of their emm types. However, the presence of superantigen genes in emm and emmL nontypeable strains has not been previously reported. In this study, presence of at least one or a combination of superantigen coding genes was identified in all the emm and emmL nontypeable strains. Thus, the superantigens may inevitably play an important role in the pathogenesis of these nontypeable strains in the absence of the primary virulence factor, M protein.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-3
PMCID: PMC3296615  PMID: 22296671
Pharyngeal streptococci; emm typing; superantigen profiling
2.  Identification and characterization of alkaline serine protease from goat skin surface metagenome 
AMB Express  2011;1:3.
Metagenomic DNA isolated from goat skin surface was used to construct plasmid DNA library in Escherichia coli DH10B. Recombinant clones were screened for functional protease activity on skim milk agar plates. Upon screening 70,000 clones, a clone carrying recombinant plasmid pSP1 exhibited protease activity. In vitro transposon mutagenesis and sequencing of the insert DNA in this clone revealed an ORF of 1890 bp encoding a protein with 630 amino acids which showed significant sequence homology to the peptidase S8 and S53 subtilisin kexin sedolisin of Shewanella sp. This ORF was cloned in pET30b and expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3). Although the cloned Alkaline Serine protease (AS-protease) was overexpressed, it was inactive as a result of forming inclusion bodies. After solubilisation, the protease was purified using Ni-NTA chromatography and then refolded properly to retain protease activity. The purified AS-protease with a molecular mass of ~63 kDa required a divalent cation (Co2+ or Mn2+) for its improved activity. The pH and temperature optima for this protease were 10.5 and 42°C respectively.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-1-3
PMCID: PMC3159910  PMID: 21906326
goat skin; metagenome; metagenomic library; serine protease; alkaline protease

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