Protein A

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Protein A is a 40-60 kDa MSCRAMM surface protein originally found in the cell wall of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. It is encoded by the spa gene and its regulation is controlled by DNA topology, cellular osmolarity, and a two-component system called ArlS-ArlR. It has found use in biochemical research because of its ability to bind immunoglobulins. It binds proteins from many of mammalian species, most notably IgG’s. It binds with the Fc region of immunoglobulins through interaction with the heavy chain. The result of this type of interaction is that, in serum, the bacteria will bind IgG molecules in the wrong orientation (in relation to normal antibody function) on their surface which disrupts opsonization and phagocytosis.

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