Oral Presentation 20th Lancefield International Symposium on Streptococci and Streptococcal Diseases 2017

A spoon full of sugar: Understanding the role of host glycan recognition in GAS infection (#48)

Martina Sanderson-Smith 1
  1. University Of Wollongong, WOLLONGONG, NSW, Australia

The oral epithelial tract is a niche highly abundant in glycosylated structures, particularly those of the ABO(H) blood group antigen family. Using a high-throughput approach, we determined that M1T1 GAS strain 5448 interacts with numerous, structurally diverse glycans. Recombinant M1 protein showed high affinity for several terminal galactose blood group antigen structures. Deletion mutagenesis shows that M1 protein mediates glycan binding via its B repeat domains. Association of M1T1 GAS with oral epithelial cells varied significantly as a result of phenotypic differences in blood group antigen expression, with significantly higher adherence to those cells expressing H antigen structures compared to cells expressing A, B, or AB antigen structures. Furthermore, defined glycan mixtures could be used to outcompete attachment of GAS to buccal epithelial cells. These data suggest a novel mechanism for GAS attachment to host cells and propose a link between host blood group antigen expression and M1T1 GAS colonization.