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Biochimie. 1988 Apr;70(4):461-73.

Molecular cloning of lactose genes in dairy lactic streptococci: the phospho-beta-galactosidase and beta-galactosidase genes and their expression products.

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  • 1Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Netherlands Institute for Dairy Research (NIZO), Ede.


The mesophilic (S. lactis and S. cremoris) and thermophilic (S. thermophilus) dairy lactic streptococci, which are used in industrial dairy fermentations, contain two different lactose hydrolysing enzymes, a phospho-beta-galactosidase and a beta-galactosidase. The central role of these enzymes in the pathways used for lactose transport and degradation is discussed along with their properties and distributions in lactic streptococci. In addition, recent results on the cloning, expression and sequence organization of the genes for the mesophilic phospho-beta-galactosidase and thermophilic beta-galactosidase are reviewed. Original data are presented concerning heterologous gene expression in the study of lactose hydrolysis in lactic streptococci. These include 1) the purification of the S. lactis phospho-beta-galactosidase from an overproducing Escherichia coli, and 2) the expression of the E. coli beta-galactosidase (lacZ) gene in S. lactis employing a lactic streptococcal expression vector.

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