Many streptococcal strains are known to bind the two most abundant plasma proteins, namely, immunoglobulin G and albumin. Protein G isolated from group C and G streptococci has been demonstrated to have separate binding regions for each of these proteins. However, some group G streptococcal strains bind only serum albumin. This report describes the isolation of a 48-kDa albumin-binding protein from such a strain (DG12). The affinity constant of this protein for human serum albumin was determined to be 5 x 10(9) M-1, and the protein interacted strongly also with serum albumin from several other mammalian species. The gene encoding the albumin-binding protein was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. DNA sequence analysis of this gene revealed a unique NH2-terminal sequence and three types of repeats in the encoded protein. One of these repeated sequences has significant homology with the albumin-binding domains of protein G, and it was demonstrated that the albumin binding of the DG12 protein was localized within these domains. Another type of repeat is localized in the putative wall-spanning region of the molecule. This repeat sequence, which has the length of only 4 amino acids (LysProGluVal), is repeated 14 times. The relationship of the albumin-binding protein to other cell-wall-associated proteins of pathogenic streptococci is discussed
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