Degradation of 14C-labeled streptococcal cell walls by egg white lysozyme and lysosomal enzymes.
The resistance of native and trypsin-treated [14C] glucose-labeled cell walls to degradation by lysozyme and human lysosomal enzymes was confirmed. In contrast, chemically N-acetylated cell walls undergo significant degradation by these enzymes in the pH range of 4.5 to 5.5 without prior removal of the group-specific carbohydrate. N-acetylation after removal of the group A carbohydrate by formamide extraction renders the cell walls considerably more susceptible to these enzymes than by formamaide extraction alone. It appears, therefore, that unless N-acetylation can occur in vivo, streptococcal cell walls are minimally degraded, if at all, by human peripheral blood leukocytes or lysozyme. Examination of leukocyte extracts from normal subjects and patients with post-streptococcal syndromes revealed no qualitative differences in ability to dissolve streptococcal cell walls.
Gallis, HA; Miller, SE; Wheat, RW
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