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J Gen Microbiol. 1988 Jan;134(1):19-27.

Studies on the proteolytic activity of Bacteroides fragilis.

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MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge, UK.


The proteolytic activity of the intestinal bacterium Bacteroides fragilis NCDO 2217 was cell-bound during exponential growth, but was progressively released from the cells in stationary phase. Proteins hydrolysed included casein, trypsin, chymotrypsin, azocasein and the proteins in azosoya bean flour. Collagen, azocoll, elastin, gelatin, ovalbumin and bovine serum albumin were either weakly degraded or completely refractory to proteolysis. Arylamidase activity was exhibited against leucine p-nitroanilide (LPNA), leucine beta-naphthylamide, glycyl-proline p-nitroanilide and valyl-alanine p-nitroanilide. The bacterium grew with ammonia, peptone or casein as sole nitrogen source. Azocasein- and LPNA-hydrolysing activities were consistently higher when grown on casein. Cell-bound protease activity increased concomitantly with growth rate in both carbon- and nitrogen-limited continuous culture. Leucine arylamidase activity was also growth-rate-dependent, being 3-fold greater at D = 0.18 h-1 compared to D = 0.03 h-1. Extracellular proteolytic activity was only detected at low growth rates, accounting for about 25% of total protease activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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