Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract A highly proteolytic Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium was isolated from the gills of fresh plaice and the effect of culture conditions on the production of proteolytic enzymes was investigated. When the organism, strain SA 1, was grown in the presence of complex mixtures of proteins and amino acids, both endopeptidase and aminopeptidase activity was demonstrated in the cell-free culture medium. However, synthesis of these enzymes was not observed when the organism was grown in a mineral medium with lactate or succinate as the only carbon and energy source. Synthesis of both endopeptidase and aminopeptidase was induced by the presence of amino acids in the medium. Of the amino acids tested, l-phenylalanine was found to be the best single inducer for the production of endopeptidase. When in addition one or more different amino acids were added, endopeptidase production was found to increase with increasing complexity of the mixture, up to a maximum which was obtained with five different amino acids. Production of the aminopeptidase was optimal when l-glutamic acid was used as a single inducer. For this enzyme the amount of enzyme activity released in the medium decreased with increasing complexity of the amino acid mixture. Endopeptidase as well as aminopeptidase activity was found to accumulate in the medium at the end of the logarithmic growth phase, when the culture was no longer growing exponentially. When the stationary phase was reached, enzyme production stopped. Production of both enzymes was immediately halted upon addition of chloramphenicol and was found to be repressed by glucose and lactate. These results suggest that synthesis of proteolytic extracellular enzymes by the organism studied is controlled by an efficient regulatory mechanism, in which growth rate is an important parameter.
Type of Medium: