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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Jul;61(7):2514-20.

Cloning and characterization of a conjugated bile acid hydrolase gene from Clostridium perfringens.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27828-4354, USA.


The gene encoding a conjugated bile acid hydrolase (CBAH) from Clostridium perfringens 13 has been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and its nucleotide sequence has been determined. Nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequence analyses indicated that the gene product is related to two previously characterized amidases, a CBAH from Lactobacillus plantarum (40% identity) and a penicillin V amidase from Bacillus sphaericus (34% identity). The product is apparently unrelated to a CBAH from C. perfringens for which N-terminal sequence information was determined. The gene product was purified from recombinant E. coli and used to raise antibody in rabbits. The presence of the protein in C. perfringens was then confirmed by immunoblot analysis. The protein was shown to have a native molecular weight of 147,000 and a subunit molecular weight of 36,100, indicating its probable existence as a tetramer. Disruption of the chromosomal C. perfringens CBAH gene with a chloramphenicol resistance cartridge resulted in a mutant strain which retained partial CBAH activity. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by enzymatic activity staining and immunoblotting indicated that the mutant strain no longer expressed the cloned CBAH (CBAH-1) but did express at least one additional CBAH (CBAH-2). CBAH-2 was immunologically distinct from CBAH-1, and its mobility on native polyacrylamide gels was different from that of CBAH-1. Furthermore, comparisons of pH optima and substrate specificities of CBAH activities from recombinant E. coli and wild-type and mutant C. perfringens provided further evidence for the presence of multiple CBAH activities in C. perfringens.

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