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Genetic analysis of extracellular proteins of Serratia marcescens.

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PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

Abstract

Serratia marcescens, a gram-negative enteric bacterium, is capable of secreting a number of proteins extracellularly. The types of activity found in the growth media include proteases, chitinases, a nuclease, and a lipase. Genetic studies have been undertaken to investigate the mechanisms used for the extracellular secretion of these exoproteins by S. marcescens. Many independent mutations affecting the extracellular enzymes were isolated after chemical and transposon mutagenesis. Using indicator media, we have identified loci involved in the production or excretion of extracellular protease, nuclease, or chitinase by S. marcescens. None of the mutations represented general extracellular-excretion mutants; in no case was the production or excretion of multiple exoproteins affected. A variety of loci were identified, including regulatory mutations affecting nuclease and chitinase expression. A number of phenotypically different protease mutants arose. Some of them may represent different gene products required for the production and excretion of the major metalloprotease, a process more complex than that for the other S. marcescens exoproteins characterized to date.

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