Genome analysis of an inducible prophage and prophage remnants integrated in the Streptococcus pyogenes strain SF370

Virology. 2002 Oct 25;302(2):245-58. doi: 10.1006/viro.2002.1570.


The mitomycin C inducible prophage SF370.1 from the highly pathogenic M1 serotype Streptococcus pyogenes isolate SF370 showed a 41-kb-long genome whose genetic organization resembled that of SF11-like pac-site Siphoviridae. Its closest relative was prophage NIH1.1 from an M3 serotype S. pyogenes strain, followed by S. pneumoniae phage MM1 and Lactobacillus phage phig1e, Listeria phage A118, and Bacillus phage SPP1 in a gradient of relatedness. Sequence similarity with the previously described prophages SF370.2 and SF370.3 from the same polylysogenic SF370 strain were mainly limited to the tail fiber genes. As in these two other prophages, SF370.1 encoded likely lysogenic conversion genes between the phage lysin and the right attachment site. The genes encoded the pyrogenic exotoxin C of S. pyogenes and a protein sharing sequence similarity with both DNases and mitogenic factors. The screening of the SF370 genome revealed further prophage-like elements. A 13-kb-long phage remnant SF370.4 encoded lysogeny and DNA replication genes. A closely related prophage remnant was identified in S. pyogenes strain Manfredo at a corresponding genome position. The two prophages differed by internal indels and gene replacements. Four phage-like integrases were detected; three were still accompanied by likely repressor genes. All prophage elements were integrated into coding sequences. The phage sequences complemented the coding sequences in all cases. The DNA repair genes mutL and mutS were separated by the prophage remnant SF370.4; prophage SF370.1 and S. pneumoniae phage MM1 integrated into homologous chromosomal locations. The prophage sequences were interpreted with a hypothesis that predicts elements of cooperation and an arms race between phage and host genomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attachment Sites, Microbiological
  • Base Sequence
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Mitomycin / pharmacology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Prophages / genetics*
  • Prophages / physiology
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Streptococcus Phages / genetics*
  • Streptococcus Phages / physiology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / virology*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Virus Activation*
  • Virus Integration*


  • Viral Proteins
  • Mitomycin