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J Bacteriol. 1978 Aug;135(2):521-7.

Induction of collagenase production in Vibrio B-30.


The inducible nature of an extracellular collagenase produced by a marine Vibrio (Vibrio B-30, ATCC 21250) was demonstrated by observing the increase in extracellular collagenase activity after the addition of collagen to cell cultures in the latter part of the exponential growth phase. When collagenase-hydrolyzed collagen was added, the lag time required before collagenase production was detected decreased significantly compared with cultures receiving collagen. Cells preinduced to synthesize collagenase did not produce the enzyme when collagen was removed from the culture medium. Incorporation of penicillin G had no effect on final collagenase activity levels in suspensions of Vibrio B-30 in complete medium supplemented with collagen. However, chloramphenicol and tetracycline inhibited collagenase production, indicating that de novo protein synthesis was necessary for the appearance of activity. Attempts to isolate the inducing substance(s) involved filtering hydrolyzed collagen through a series of ultrafiltration membranes. The lowest-molecular-weight fraction of collagen hydrolysate with inducing ability was between 1,000 and 10,000. Gel filtration of this fraction on Sephadex G-50 resulted in the appearance of three protein peaks, two of which were capable of inducing collagenase production. Results from amino acid composition and N-terminal amino acid analysis suggest that the inducing substance originates from the polar helical portion of the collagen molecule.

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