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J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 25;264(6):3325-34.

Purification and substrate specificity of a strongly hydrophobic extracellular metalloendopeptidase ("gelatinase") from Streptococcus faecalis (strain 0G1-10).

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  • 1Department of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-1078.


An extracellular Zn-endopeptidase was purified to homogeneity from the culture filtrates of Streptococcus faecalis (human oral strain 0G1-10) by a procedure that comprised concentration in an Amicon Hollow Fiber System, ammonium sulfate precipitation, gel permeation chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography (batch operation on phenyl-sepharose Cl-4B), followed by fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) on a phenyl-Superose HR 5/5 column, and finally FPLC on a Superose 12 HR 10/30 column. The enzyme is a 31.5-kDa strongly hydrophobic protein with an isoelectric point of 4.6 and a broad pH optimum of 6 to 8. The substrate specificity of the enzyme is similar to that of the mammalian membrane endopeptidase-24.11 and Streptococcus thermophilus thermolysin (EC in hydrolyzing preferentially the Phe24-Phe25 bond in insulin B-chain, followed by cleavage of the His5-Leu6 bond. The enzyme was especially active on Azocoll and gelatin; soluble and insoluble collagens were hydrolyzed at a lower rate. S. faecalis sex pheromone-related peptides and several mammalian bioactive peptides were cleaved at sites involving pronounced hydrophobicity. The enzyme did not hydrolyze small synthetic peptide derivatives (phenylazobenzyloxycarbonyl-L-Pro-L-Leu-Gly-L-Pro-D-Arg and 2-furylacryloyl-L-Leu-Gly-L-Ala) that are typically attacked by "true" bacterial collagenases. Chemical modification indicated the importance of histidyl, carboxyl, and tyrosyl groups in enzyme activity, suggesting that this enzyme may thus be classified as a metalloprotease II (EC The enzyme is strongly inhibited by a 720-kDa factor present in rat inflammatory exudate. The pronounced ability of the enzyme to attack collagenous materials and certain bioactive peptides suggests its participation in inflammatory processes involving the presence of S. faecalis.

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