Cell wall preparations of uniform chemical constitution have been obtained from several strains of group A streptococci. The isolated cell walls are dissolved by the same fractions of the Streptomyces albus enzymes that are effective in the lysis of intact cells, and it is likely that enzymatic lysis of group A streptococci is effected by an attack on the cell wall.
The streptococcal cell wall, as prepared in this study, consists of approximately two-thirds carbohydrate and one-third protein. Small amounts of other components may be present. The carbohydrate component, which is composed primarily of N-acetyl-glucosamine and rhamnose, is the group-specific C carbohydrate. The evidence indicates that one of the streptomyces enzymes is directed toward the carbohydrate component of the cell wall.