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Isolation and characterization of metalloproteases with a novel domain structure by construction and screening of metagenomic libraries.


ABSTRACT: Small-insert metagenomic libraries from four samples were constructed by a topoisomerase-based and a T4 DNA ligase-based approach. Direct comparison of both approaches revealed that application of the topoisomerase-based method resulted in a higher number of insert-containing clones per microg of environmental DNA used for cloning and a larger average insert size. Subsequently, the constructed libraries were partially screened for the presence of genes conferring proteolytic activity. The function-driven screen was based on the ability of the library-containing Escherichia coli clones to form halos on skim milk-containing agar plates. The screening of 80,000 E. coli clones yielded four positive clones. Two of the plasmids (pTW2 and pTW3) recovered from positive clones conferred strong proteolytic activity and were studied further. Analysis of the entire insert sequences of pTW2 (28,113 bp) and pTW3 (19,956 bp) suggested that the DNA fragments were derived from members of the genus Xanthomonas. Each of the plasmids harbored one gene (2,589 bp) encoding a metalloprotease (mprA, pTW2; mprB, pTW3). Sequence and biochemical analyses revealed that MprA and MprB are similar extracellular proteases belonging to the M4 family of metallopeptidases (thermolysin-like family). Both enzymes possessed a unique modular structure and consisted of four regions: the signal sequence, the N-terminal proregion, the protease region, and the C-terminal extension. The architecture of the latter region, which was characterized by the presence of two prepeptidase C-terminal domains and one proprotein convertase P domain, is novel for bacterial metalloproteases. Studies with derivatives of MprA and MprB revealed that the C-terminal extension is not essential for protease activity. The optimum pH and temperature of both proteases were 8.0 and 65 degrees C, respectively, when casein was used as substrate.

SUBMITTER: Waschkowitz T 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2675231 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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