Identification of a Bacillus subtilis secretion mutant using a ß-galactosidase screening procedure

Myra F. Jacobs, Jens Bo Andersen, Torben V. Borchert, Vesa P. Kontinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    High-level synthesis of exportable beta-galactosidase (LacZ) fusion proteins in Bacillus subtilis results in a lethal phenotype, and has been suggested as a tool for the selection of secretion mutants. We tested a plasmid-based, inducible lacZ fusion gene system for this purpose, but frequent mutations in cis, which reduced expression of the fusion gene, forced abandonment of the induction-selection strategy. Instead, after modification of the indicator plasmid, a screening procedure for increased basal LacZ activity levels was adopted. This led to the identification of a conditional B. subtilis secretion mutant after nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis. At 42 degrees C, but not at 30 degrees C, this mutant displayed extreme growth retardation when the LacZ fusion protein was produced, and was also defective in the secretion of subtilisin Carlsberg. The processing kinetics and secretion of a subtilisin Carlsberg-alkaline phosphatase fusion derivative were found to be defective specifically at the non-permissive temperature. The secretion defect was not linked to the secA/div locus.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMicrobiology (United Kingdom)
    Pages (from-to)1771-1779
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


    • Bacillus, beta-galactosidase, protein secretion, xylose


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