Cell wall polysaccharides of streptococci: a genetic and structural perspective

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Kampff, Zoe
van Sinderen, Douwe
Mahony, Jennifer
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The Streptococcus genus comprises both commensal and pathogenic species. Additionally, Streptococcus thermophilus is exploited in fermented foods and in probiotic preparations. The ecological and metabolic diversity of members of this genus is matched by the complex range of cell wall polysaccharides that they present on their cell surfaces. These glycopolymers facilitate their interactions and environmental adaptation. Here, current knowledge on the genetic and compositional diversity of streptococcal cell wall polysaccharides including rhamnose-glucose polysaccharides, exopolysaccharides and teichoic acids is discussed. Furthermore, the species-specific cell wall polysaccharide combinations and specifically highlighting the presence of rhamnose-glucose polysaccharides in certain species, which are replaced by teichoic acids in other species. This review highlights model pathogenic and non-pathogenic species for which there is considerable information regarding cell wall polysaccharide composition, structure and genetic information. These serve as foundations to predict and focus research efforts in other streptococcal species for which such data currently does not exist.
Lactic acid bacteria , Rhamnose-glucose polysaccharide , Exopolysaccharide , Serotype , Bacteriophage
Kampff, Z., Van Sinderen, D. and Mahony, J. (2023) ‘Cell wall polysaccharides of streptococci: a genetic and structural perspective’, Biotechnology Advances, 69, 108279 (11pp). doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2023.108279
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