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J Bacteriol. 1992 Jan;174(2):464-70.

Analysis of the autolysins of Bacillus subtilis 168 during vegetative growth and differentiation by using renaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.


The autolysins of Bacillus subtilis 168 were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with substrate-containing gels. Four bands of vegetative autolytic activity of 90, 50, 34, and 30 kDa (bands A1 to A4) were detected in SDS and LiCl extracts and in native cell walls by using B. subtilis 168 vegetative cell walls as the substrate incorporated in the gel. The four enzyme activities showed different substrate specificities and sensitivities to various chemical treatments. The autolysin profile was not medium dependent and remained constant during vegetative growth. During sporulation, band A4 greatly increased in activity just prior to mother-cell lysis. No germination-associated changes in the profile were observed, although a soluble 41-kDa endospore-associated cortex-lytic enzyme was found. By using insertionally inactivated mutants, bands A1 and A2 were positively identified as the previously characterized 90-kDa glucosaminidase and 50-kDa amidase, respectively. The common filamentous phenotype of various regulatory mutants could not be correlated to specific changes in the autolysin profile.

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