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Mol Gen Genet. 1992 Jul;234(1):129-37.

Genetic structure, isolation and characterization of a Bacillus licheniformis cell wall hydrolase.

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Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan.


A DNA fragment containing the gene for a cell wall hydrolase of Bacillus licheniformis was cloned into Escherichia coli. Sequencing of the fragment showed the presence of an open reading frame which encodes a polypeptide of 253 amino acids with a molecular mass of 27,513. The gene was designated as cwlM, for cell wall lysis. The deduced amino acid sequence indicated that there is a repeated sequence consisting of 33 amino acid residues in the C-terminal region. Deletion of the C-terminal region did not lead to any loss of cell wall lytic activity. The gene product purified from E. coli cells harboring a cwlM-bearing plasmid exhibited a M(r) value of 29 kDa on SDS-polyacrylamide gels, and characterization of the specific substrate bond cleaved by CWLM indicated that the enzyme is an N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase (EC The enzyme hydrolyzed the cell wall of Micrococcus luteus more efficiently than those of B. licheniformis and B. subtilis, but the truncated CWLM (lacking the C-terminal region) had lost this preference. CWLM prepared from B. subtilis cells harboring a plasmid containing cwlM had a similar M(r) value to that from E. coli. Amino acid sequence homologies between CWLM and other amidases, and their protein structures are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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