Degradation of hyaluronate by Streptococcus intermedius strain UNS 35

Homer, K. A., Grootveld, M. C., Hawkes, J., Naughton, D.P. and Beighton, D. (1994) Degradation of hyaluronate by Streptococcus intermedius strain UNS 35. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 41(6), pp. 414-422. ISSN (print) 0022-2615


Streptococcus intermedius strain UNS 35, a brain abscess isolate, produced extracellular hyaluronidase when grown in brain heart infusion broth. Chemical assays with this enzyme indicated that hyaluronate depolymerisation resulted in the formation of carbohydrate moieties with N-acetylglucosamine at the reducing terminal and containing an unsaturated carbon-carbon double bond. The nature of the products of this hyaluronidase were investigated further by high-field (400 MHz) proton (1H) NMR spectroscopy. Treatment of hyaluronate with the enzyme resulted in a series of new, sharp resonances in spectra (acetamido methyl group singlets located at 2.03 and 2.07 ppm, sugar ring proton multiplets in the 3.5-4.2 ppm chemical shift range, and doublets at 5.16 and 5.87 ppm) characteristic of low-M(r) oligosaccharide species, predominantly those containing glucuronosyl residues with delta 4,5-carbon-carbon double bonds. Comparison of spectra acquired from hyaluronidase-treated samples with that of an authentic sample of 4-deoxy-L-threo-hex-4-enopyranosyluronic-acid-N-acetylglucosamine (delta UA GlcNAc) indicated that this disaccharide was a major product arising from the actions of this enzyme. When used in minimal media, hyaluronate supported growth of S. intermedius, with lactate as the major metabolic end-product.

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