Regulation of the synthesis of M protein by sugars, Todd Hewitt broth, and horse serum, in growing cells of Streptococcus pyogenes

Microbios. 1978;21(85-86):185-212.


Various sugars were tested for their effect on the differential rate of synthesis of M protein during the growth of Streptococcus pyogenes strain 0055 M12T12. In a semisynthetic medium alone, a high rate of M protein synthesis occurred with glucose as a substrate; decreasing rates of synthesis occurred with sucrose and trehalose, in that order, although the rates of growth were approximately equal with all sugars. A period of derepressed synthesis of M protein occurred in the lag phase of growth and in the stationary period as the substrates were being depleted. Although glucose inhibited the utilization of other sugars, diauxie was not apparent from the growth curves. However, synthesis of M protein followed strong diauxie curves with a reduction in rate of synthesis during the utilization of the second sugar. With glucose as a substrate, 2-deoxyglucose showed a strong permanent repression of M protein synthesis, whereas both glucose and 2-deoxyglucose caused temporary repression when sucrose was the substrate. Horse serum increased the rate of synthesis of M protein in a manner very similar to that caused by adding cyclic AMP, although quantitative analyses suggested that cyclic AMP, per se, was not the effector in horse serum. Addition of Todd Hewitt broth permitted the organisms to grow on phosphorylated sugars. Although the rates of growth on phosphorylated sugars were similar to that obtained with glucose, M protein was not synthesized when a phosphorylated sugar was the sole substrate. The addition of phosphorylated sugars with glucose or sucrose as substrates strongly repressed the synthesis of M protein with glucose-1-phosphate and with fructose 1,6-diphosphate repressing M protein synthesis the most. Clearly, M protein synthesis, which was not required for growth, was preferentially induced by glucose as compared to the other sugars and was dependent upon the metabolic route by which glucose was utilized.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Blood*
  • Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Culture Media / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Horses
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / metabolism*
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Trehalose / pharmacology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Culture Media
  • Sucrose
  • Trehalose
  • Glucose