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J Bacteriol. 1991 Sep;173(18):5619-23.

Cloning, sequencing, and expression in Escherichia coli of a Streptococcus faecalis autolysin.

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Département de Biochimie, Faculté des Sciences et de Génie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


A Streptococcus faecalis genomic bank was obtained by partial digestion with MboI and cloning into the SalI restriction site of pTZ18R. Screening of about 60,000 Escherichia coli transformants for cell wall lysis activity was done by exposing recombinant colonies grown on medium containing lyophilized Micrococcus lysodeikticus cells to chloroform and toluene vapors in order to release proteins. Because this procedure provoked cell death, colonies could not be used directly for transformant recovery; however, recovery was achieved by partial purification of plasmid DNA from active colonies on the agar plate and transformation of E. coli competent cells. About 60 recombinants were found. One of them (pSH6500) codes for a lytic enzyme active against S. faecalis and M. lysodeikticus cell walls. A shorter clone (pSH4000) was obtained by deleting an EcoRI fragment from the 6.5-kb original insert, leaving a 4-kb EcoRI-MboI insert; this subclone expressed the same lytic activity. Sequencing of a portion of pSH4000 revealed a unique open reading frame of 2,013 nucleotides coding for a 641-amino-acid (74-kDa) polypeptide and containing four 204-nucleotide direct repeats.

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