Structure and Biological Activity of the Streptococci.
NORTHWESTERN UNIV CHICAGO ILL DEPT OF MICROBIOLOGY
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Studies on the polysaccharide cell wall antigens of the streptococci has provided information on the methods of extraction, chemical composition and structure, relation of antigenic specificity to structure, and the biological activity of such polysaccharides. In the latter case it is shown that such polysaccharides serve as binding sites for enzymes which synthesize high molecular weight polymers from sucrose. These polymers are essential for adherence of the streptococcal cell to glass surfaces. It is shown that antibody to the polysaccharide will prevent the binding of the enzyme to the streptococcal cell surface and consequently adherence of the cells. These results present a possible mechanism of the adherence of the streptococcal cell to the smooth surfaces of teeth.