PMID: 39035Jul 1, 1979

Effect of growth conditions on the formation of extracellular lipoteichoic acid by Streptococcus mutans BHT

Infection and Immunity
Nicholas A JacquesA J Wicken


Streptococcus mutans BHT was grown in a chemostat with glucose limitation and at defined dilution rates and pH values. Lipoteichoic acid was estimated by determining the ability of dilutions of culture fluid to sensitize erythrocytes. The greatest amounts of extracellular lipoteichoic acid were produced by organisms growing at a low dilution rate and at pH 6.0 or 6.5. To enable a more accurate estimation of the total amount of extracellular material, rocket immunoelectrophoresis was employed. These results confirmed that the greatest amounts of reactive material were produced by slow-growing organisms, although there were discrepancies between these results and those obtained by hemagglutination. The extracellular material was fractionated by column chromatography and membrane ultrafiltration to yield a lipoteichoic acid-containing fraction and a presumptive deacylated lipoteichoic acid fraction. The relative proportions detected by rocket immunoelectrophoresis differed with the growth conditions, particularly the dilution rate. Analysis of the phenol-extracted cellular material also indicated the presence of deacylated lipoteichoic acid, although less than in the culture fluid.


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