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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 Dec;56(12):3735-40.

Production, Purification, and Properties of Extracellular Carboxyl Esterases from Bacillus subtilis NRRL 365.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.


Bacillus subtilis NRRL 365 produced high extracellular carboxyl esterase activity in submerged culture media containing wheat bran, corn steep liquor, and salts. Supplementation of this medium with glucose reduced esterase activity to 37% of that in the unsupplemented control. Esterase activity was purified by ammonium sulfate fractionation, DEAE-Sephadex A-50 ion-exchange chromatography with sodium chloride gradient elution, and preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The resultant purified components, esterases I and II, manifested single bands following silver staining of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gels and had final specific activities of 80 and 520 U/mg, respectively. Molecular weights for components I and II were 36,000 and 105,000 to 110,000, respectively. Esterases I and II both had a pH optimum of 8.0, with relative activities of 10 and 85%, respectively, at pH 9.0. K(m)s with p-nitrophenylacetate were 0.91 mM for esterase I and 0.67 mM for esterase II. In general, patterns of enzyme inhibition were similar for both components. Differences were observed in the relative activities of esterases I and II towards p-nitrophenyl esters of acetate, propionate, and butyrate; Activity ratios for components I and II were 100:94:48 and 100:36:23, respectively. The purified components did not hydrolyze long-chain triglycerides and did not manifest proteolytic activity.

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