SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Summary

Streptococcus pyogenes causes a broad spectrum of infectious diseases, including pharyngitis, skin infections and invasive necrotizing fasciitis. The initial phase of infection involves colonization, followed by intimate contact with the host cells, thus promoting bacterial uptake by them. S. pyogenes recognizes fibronectin (Fn) through its own Fn-binding proteins to obtain access to epithelial and endothelial cells in host tissue. Fn-binding proteins bind to Fn to form a bridge to α5β1-integrins, which leads to rearrangement of cytoskeletal actin in host cells and uptake of invading S. pyogenes. Recently, several structural analyses of the invasion mechanism showed molecular interactions by which Fn converts from a compact plasma protein to a fibrillar component of the extracellular matrix. After colonization, S. pyogenes must evade the host innate immune system to spread into blood vessels and deeper organs. Some Fn-binding proteins contribute to evasion of host innate immunity, such as the complement system and phagocytosis. In addition, Fn-binding proteins have received focus as non-M protein vaccine candidates, because of their localization and conservation among different M serotypes.Here, we review the roles of Fn-binding proteins in the pathogenesis and speculate regarding possible vaccine antigen candidates.