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J Bacteriol. Oct 1996; 178(19): 5712–5718.
PMCID: PMC178411

Molecular cloning and expression of the spsB gene encoding an essential type I signal peptidase from Staphylococcus aureus.


The gene, spsB, encoding a type I signal peptidase has been cloned from the gram-positive eubacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The gene encodes a protein of 191 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of 21,692 Da. Comparison of the protein sequence with those of known type I signal peptidases indicates conservation of amino acid residues known to be important or essential for catalytic activity. The enzyme has been expressed to high levels in Escherichia coli and has been demonstrated to possess enzymatic activity against E. coli preproteins in vivo. Experiments whereby the spsB gene was transferred to a plasmid that is temperature sensitive for replication indicate that spsB is an essential gene. We identified an open reading frame immediately upstream of the spsB gene which encodes a type I signal peptidase homolog of 174 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of 20,146 Da that is predicted to be devoid of catalytic activity.

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Selected References

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