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J Biol Chem. 1987 Sep 15;262(26):12488-95.

Purification and properties of an extracellular collagenolytic protease produced by the human oral bacterium Bacillus cereus (strain Soc 67).


The major collagenolytic proteinase present in the culture filtrate of Bacillus cereus (strain Soc 67, isolated from the human oral cavity) has been purified to homogeneity by a procedure that comprised concentration of ultrafiltered growth medium on a Millipore PTTK00005 membrane, precipitation with ammonium sulfate, gel permeation chromatography, chromatofocusing, fast protein liquid chromatography on an anion-exchange column, and finally fast protein liquid chromatography on a gel column. The enzyme hydrolyzed, with decreasing rates, phenylazobenzyloxy-carbonyl-L-Pro-L-Leu Gly-L-Pro-D-Arg (PZ-PLGPA), furylacrylolyl-L-Leu-Gly-L-Pro-L-Ala, and furylacryloyl-L-Phe-Gly-Gly, while furylacryloyl-Gly-L-Leu-NH2 was not hydrolyzed. The enzyme degraded soluble and insoluble collagens, Azocoll and gelatin. Bradykinin was hydrolyzed at a high rate at the Phe-Ser bond. The enzyme was sensitive to pyrophosphate, L-cysteine, and L-histidine and could be totally inactivated in the presence of metal chelators. The enzyme contains 1 mol of Zn/mol and the hydrolysis of PZ-PLGPA is slightly increased by Ca2+. The enzyme is readily inhibited by heavy metal cations, but Cu2+ and Ni2+ affected the catalysis in opposite ways: increasing levels of Cu2+ decreased the affinity of the enzyme for PZ-PLGPA, whereas Ni2+ had no effect. The effect of Cu2+ also depended on the pH and type of buffer used. Detailed chemical modification experiments suggested that the active site of the enzyme contains at least 1 tyrosyl and 1 lysyl residue, and 1 carboxyl group. The enzyme was not sensitive to sulfhydryl reagents and thiols did not activate the enzyme. The modification studies were unable to reveal active histidyl residues. The ability of the enzyme to hydrolyze PZ-PLGPA, furylacryloyl-L-Leu-Gly-L-Pro-L-Ala, furylacryloyl-L-Phe-Gly-Gly, and various collagenous materials, its inactivity toward furylacryloyl-Gly-L-Leu-NH2, and the results from the chemical modification studies suggest that the B. cereus (Soc 67) collagenolytic enzyme can be regarded as a true collagenase which resembles the Clostridium histolyticum collagenase(s).

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