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PLoS One. 2010 Sep 30;5(9). pii: e13122. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013122.

Studies on a novel serine protease of a ΔhapAΔprtV Vibrio cholerae O1 strain and its role in hemorrhagic response in the rabbit ileal loop model.

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  • 1Divisions of Pathophysiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.



Two well-characterized proteases secreted by Vibrio cholerae O1 strains are hemagglutinin protease (HAP) and V. cholerae protease (PrtV). The hapA and prtV knock out mutant, V. cholerae O1 strain CHA6.8ΔprtV, still retains residual protease activity. We initiated this study to characterize the protease present in CHA6.8ΔprtV strain and study its role in pathogenesis in rabbit ileal loop model (RIL).


We partially purified the residual protease secreted by strain CHA6.8ΔprtV from culture supernatant by anion-exchange chromatography. The major protein band in native PAGE was identified by MS peptide mapping and sequence analysis showed homology with a 59-kDa trypsin-like serine protease encoded by VC1649. The protease activity was partially inhibited by 25 mM PMSF and 10 mM EDTA and completely inhibited by EDTA and PMSF together. RIL assay with culture supernatants of strains C6709 (FA ratio 1.1+/-0.3 n = 3), CHA6.8 (FA ratio 1.08+/-0.2 n = 3), CHA6.8ΔprtV (FA ratio 1.02+/-0.2 n = 3) and partially purified serine protease from CHA6.8ΔprtV (FA ratio 1.2+/-0.3 n = 3) induced fluid accumulation and histopathological studies on rabbit ileum showed destruction of the villus structure with hemorrhage in all layers of the mucosa. RIL assay with culture supernatant of CHA6.8ΔprtVΔVC1649 strain (FA ratio 0.11+/-0.005 n = 3) and with protease incubated with PMSF and EDTA (FA ratio 0.3+/-0.05 n = 3) induced a significantly reduced FA ratio with almost complete normal villus structure.


Our results show the presence of a novel 59-kDa serine protease in a ΔhapAΔprtV V. cholerae O1 strain and its role in hemorrhagic response in RIL model.

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