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J Gen Appl Microbiol. 1998 Feb;44(1):85-91.

Transglutaminase in sporulating cells of Bacillus subtilis.

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Central Research Laboratories, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki 210-0801, Japan.


We screened various Bacillus species producing transglutaminase (TGase), measured as labeled putrescine incorporated into N,N-dimethylcasein. As a result, we detected TGase activity in sporulating cells of B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. alvei and B. aneurinolyticus, and found TGase activity related to sporulation. TGase activity of Bacillus subtilis was detected in lysozyme-treated sporulating cells during late sporulation, but not in cells without lysozyme treatment or the supernatant of the culture broth. TGase was found to be localized on spores. TGase was preliminarily purified by gel filtration chromatography for characterization. Its activity was eluted in the fractions indicating a molecular weight of approximately 23 kDa. TGase could cross-link and polymerize a certain protein. The enzyme was strongly suggested to form epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)lysine bonds, which were detected in the spore coat proteins of B. subtilis. The activity was Ca(2+)-independent like the TGases derived from Streptoverticillium or some plants. It is suggested that TGase is expressed during sporulation and plays a role in the assembly of the spore coat proteins of the genus Bacillus.

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