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J Bacteriol. Jul 1985; 163(1): 88–93.
PMCID: PMC219084

Escherichia coli hemolysin is released extracellularly without cleavage of a signal peptide.


A 110-kilodalton polypeptide isolated from cell-free culture supernatants of hemolytic Escherichia coli was shown to be associated with hemolytic activity. The relative amount of the extracellular 110-kilodalton species detected directly reflects the extracellular hemolysin activity associated with Escherichia coli strains harboring different hemolysin recombinant plasmids. The predicted molecular mass of the hemolysin structural gene (hlyA) based on DNA sequence analysis was 109,858 daltons. Amino-terminal amino acid sequence analysis of the 110-kilodalton polypeptide provided direct evidence that it was encoded by hlyA. Based on this information, it was also demonstrated that the HlyA polypeptide was released extracellularly without signal peptidase-like cleavage. An examination of hemolysin-specific polypeptides detected by use of recombinant plasmids in a minicell-producing strain of Escherichia coli was performed. These studies demonstrated how hemolysin-associated 110- and 58-kilodalton polypeptides detected in the minicell background could be misinterpreted as a precursor-product relationship.

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Selected References

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