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Gene. 1991 Jul 31;104(1):25-31.

Sequence of the lyc gene encoding the autolytic lysozyme of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC824: comparison with other lytic enzymes.

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Unidad de Genética Bacteriana, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Madrid, Spain.


The lyc gene, encoding an autolytic lysozyme from Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC824, has been cloned. The nucleotide sequence of the lyc gene has been determined and found to encode a protein of 324 amino acids (aa) with a deduced Mr of 34,939. The lyc gene is preceded by two open reading frames with unknown functions, suggesting that this gene is part of an operon. Comparison between the deduced aa sequence of the lyc gene and the directly determined N-terminal sequence of the extracellular clostridial lysozyme suggests that the enzyme is synthesized without a cleavable signal peptide. Moreover, the comparative analyses between the clostridial lysozyme and other known cell-wall lytic enzymes revealed a significant similarity with the N-terminal portion of the lysozymes of Streptomyces globisporus, the fungus Chalaropsis, the Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteriophage mv1, and the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteriophages of the Cp family (CPL lysozymes). In addition, the analyses showed that the C-terminal half of the clostridial lysozyme was homologous to the N-terminal domain of the muramoyl-pentapeptide-carboxypeptidase of Streptomyces albus, suggesting a role in substrate binding. The existence of five putative repeated motifs in the C-terminal region of the autolytic lysozyme suggests that this region could play a role in the recognition of the polymeric substrate.

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