Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Molecular Biology Microbiology and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Fix, Douglas

Abstract

Streptococcus pyogenes is a re-emerging pathogen that produces superficial and life threatening invasive diseases. One important virulence factor in S. pyogenes is hyaluronic acid capsule which has been shown to increase expression at sub-body temperatures in certain strains. This study showed that thermoregulation is common in invasive clinical isolates. Regulation was shown to occur independent of the CovRS two-component regulator in a post transcription manner and before protein level regulation. The endoribonuclease, CvfA, was also confirmed to be required for capsule thermoregulation. The search for a regulator lead to the discovery of the 1st antisense RNAs in S. pyogenes found opposite the capsule synthesis genes. Its role if any in capsule has not been discovered. Finally, a group of sRNAs were characterized adding to the knowledge of this layer of regulation in S. pyogenes.

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