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PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP)-based analysis of β-domain variable region of streptokinase genes (sk) has previously identified 14 sk alleles (sk1-sk14) in group A (GAS), C (GCS) and G (GGS) streptococci isolates from a few geographically distinct regions. However, the relation of sk allelic variants to their plasminogen activation potencies remained as a matter of debate. Herein, employing the same PCR/RFLP assay, we analysed sk allelic variants of GAS and GCS/GGS isolates from Iranian patients. In total, 21 sk allelic variants including 14 new alleles (sk14-sk28) were identified. Results implied the horizontal gene transfer of sk fragments between GAS and GCS/GGS strains and did not prove the specificity of particular sk alleles to GCS/GGS or GAS groups. Measurement of streptokinase (SK) activity in streptococcal culture supernatants by colorimetric assay (S2251 substrate) ranged from 9 to 182 IU mL(-1). Although some strains with the highest SK activity were detected in definite variants, no significant correlation between sk alleles and plasminogen activation was detected (P value > 0.05). Analysis of DNA sequences and restriction site mapping of selective sk variants with similar SK activity pointed to the inadequacy of the currently available PCR/RFLP method for differentiation of critical/silent nucleotides to precisely categorize sk alleles for their functional properties. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.


Malihe Keramati, Farzin Roohvand, Zahra Eslaminejad, Amir Mirzaie, Vajihe Sadat Nikbin, Mohammad Mehdi Aslani. PCR/RFLP-based allelic variants of streptokinase and their plasminogen activation potencies. FEMS microbiology letters. 2012 Oct;335(2):79-85

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PMID: 22812485

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