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Conservation of the organization of the streptokinase gene region among pathogenic streptococci

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Using ten gene-specific probes from the cloned and sequenced streptokinase gene (skc) region (8 931 bp) of Streptococcus equisimilis H46A, a human serogroup C strain, the conservation of these genes and their linkage relationships were studied by Southern hybridization in pathogenic streptococci differing taxonomically, serologically, in regard to their host range, and in the class of plasminogen activator produced. The results indicate that in S. pyogenes (strains A374, NZ131 and SF130/13) and a human group G strain (G19 908) both gene content and gene order as determined for H46A (dexB-abc-lrp-skc-orf1-rel) are preserved. The same is true of an equine S, equisimilis isolate (87-542-W), the streptokinase gene of which has been shown to hybridize detectably with skc, a result at variance with that obtained previously by others. In contrast, the chromosomal DNA of three S. uberis strains (0140J, C198, C216) of bovine origin, two of which produced a plasminogen activator different from streptokinase, hybridized only with dexB-, abc- and rel-specific probes, and the homologues of these genes appeared to lie close to each other. The maintenance of the organization of the streptokinase gene region in strains differing in overall chromosomal character suggests that this gene arrangement is of selective advantage.

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Frank, C., Steiner, K. & Malke, H. Conservation of the organization of the streptokinase gene region among pathogenic streptococci. Med Microbiol Immunol 184, 139–146 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00224351

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Key words

  • Streptococcus equisimilis
  • S. pyogenes
  • S. uberis
  • Streptokinase gene region
  • Southern hybridization
  • Genome organization