PMID: 39168Feb 1, 1979

Partial purification and characterization of a bacteriolytic enzyme secreted by Tetrahymena

The Journal of protozoology
G W VickJ J Blum


Tetrahymena pyriformis strain HSM secretes large quantities of acid hydrolases into the culture medium. An enzyme secreted by the ciliate and capable of degrading walls of streptococci was identified and purified to a considerable degree. The pH optimum of this enzyme was 3--4, and it was eluted after cytochrome c from Sephadex G-75 columns. Unlike lysozyme, the enzyme was thermolabile at pH 2.9, but relatively thermostable at pH 8.1. It degraded 14C-labeled cell walls of streptococci releasing reducing groups. Cell walls prepared from different strains of streptococci differed in susceptibility to this enzyme, the most sensitive strain tested being of group A, type T12. It was shown in immunologic studies that this hydrolase released the group-specific carbohydrate from the walls. Secretions of Tetrahymena from early stationary-phase cultures had more bacteriolytic activity than those from cells from late stationary-phase cultures. Further, cells from cultures grown in glucose-supplemented medium secreted less of the enzyme than ciliates of comparable age grown in unsupplemented proteose-peptone. The newly isolated bacteriolytic enzyme, presumably of lysosomal origin, may be helpful in characterizing streptococcal cell walls.


Aug 1, 1979·The Journal of protozoology·G W Vick, J J Blum

Related Concepts

Cell Wall
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Tetrahymena pyriformis

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