Advisor

Thornton, Justin A.

Committee Member

Jordan, Heather R.

Committee Member

Seo, Keun Seok

Date of Degree

1-1-2015

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a major human pathogen and commensal organism of the nasopharynx. A major virulence factor of the pneumococcus is the cholesterol dependent, pore forming cytolysin pneumolysin. This toxin acts extracellularly, but the mechanism of release has not been well elucidated. Despite being a catalase negative organism, the pneumococcus produces up to millimolar concentrations of hydrogen peroxide through the activity of pyruvate oxidase. In all strains analyzed, deletion of the pyruvate oxidase gene yielded a significant reduction in the amount of PLY observed in the supernatant via western blot. A single strain, WU2 was also observed to have a significant (p<.05) reduction in the amount of PLY observed in the supernatant when treated with extracellular catalase. Furthermore, a significant correlation between hydrogen peroxide production and PLY release was observed in a panel of 15 clinical isolates.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20163

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