• New insight on a Group A Streptococcus protective antigen contributing to bacterial cell division
  • Gancitano, Giovanni <1982>


  • BIO/11 Biologia molecolare


  • Bioinformatic analysis of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) genomes aiming at the identification of new vaccine antigens, revealed the presence of a gene coding for a putative surface-associated protein, named GAS40, inducing protective antibodies in an animal model of sepsis. The aim of our study was to unravel the involvement of GAS40 in cell division processes and to identify the putative interactor. Firstly, bioinformatic analysis showed that gas40 shares homology with ezrA, a gene coding for a negative regulator of Z-ring formation during cell division process. Both scanning and transmission electron microscopy indicated morphological differences between wild-type and the GAS40 knock-out mutant strain, with the latter showing an impaired capacity to divide resulting in the formation of very long chains. Moreover, when the localization of the antigen on the bacterial surface was analyzed, we found that in bacteria grown at exponential phase GAS40 specifically localized at septum, indicating a possible role in cell division. Furthermore, by ELISA and co-sedimentation assays, we found that GAS40 is able to interact with FtsZ, a protein involved in Z-ring formation during cell division process. These data together with the co-localization of GAS40/FtsZ at bacterial septum demonstrated by by confocal microscopy, strongly support the hypothesis for a key role of GAS40 in bacterial cell division.


  • 2011-04-15


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Gancitano, Giovanni (2011) New insight on a Group A Streptococcus protective antigen contributing to bacterial cell division, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 2 Biologia funzionale dei sistemi cellulari e molecolari , 23 Ciclo.