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Pseudomonas aeruginosa lasB1 mutants produce an elastase, substituted at active-site His-223, that is defective in activity, processing, and secretion.
K S McIver; J C Olson; D E Ohman (Profiled Author: Kevin S. McIver)
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Tennessee, Memphis.
Journal of bacteriology 1993;175(13):4008-15.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretes elastase in a multistep process which begins with the synthesis of a preproelastase (53.6 kDa) encoded by lasB, is followed by processing to proelastase (51 kDa), and concludes with the rapid accumulation of mature elastase (33 kDa) in the extracellular environment. In this study, mutants of P. aeruginosa were constructed by gene replacement which expressed lasB1, an allele altered in vitro at an active-site His-223-encoding codon. The lasB1 allele was exchanged for chromosomal lasB sequences in two strain backgrounds, FRD2 and PAO1, through a selectable-cassette strategy which placed a downstream Tn501 marker next to lasB1 and provided the selection for homologous recombination with the chromosome. Two lasB1 mutants, FRD720 and PDO220, were characterized, and their culture supernatants contained greatly reduced proteolytic (9-fold) and elastolytic (14- to 20-fold) activities compared with their respective parental lasB+ strains. This was primarily due to the effect of His-223 substitution on substrate binding by elastase and thus its proteolytic activity. However, the concentration of supernatant elastase antigen was also reduced (five- to sevenfold) in the mutant strains compared with the parental strains. An immunoblot analysis of cell extracts showed a large accumulation of 51-kDa proelastase within lasB1 mutant cells which was not seen in wild-type cell extracts. A time course study showed that production of extracellular elastase was inefficient in the lasB1 mutants compared with that of parental strains. This showed that expression of an enzymatically defective elastase inhibits proper processing of proelastase and provides further evidence for autoproteolytic processing of proelastase in P. aeruginosa. Unlike the parental strains, culture supernatants of the lasB1 mutants contained two prominent elastase species that were 33 and 36 kDa in size. Extracellular 51-kDa proelastase was barely detectable, even though it accumulated to high concentrations within the lasB1 mutant cells. These data suggest that production of an enzymatically defective elastase affects proper secretion because autoproteolytic processing of proelastase is necessary for efficient localization to the extracellular milieu. The appearance of reduced amounts of extracellular elastase and their sizes of 33 and 36 kDa suggest that lasB1-encoded elastase was processed by alternate, less-efficient processing mechanisms. Thus, proelastase must be processed by removal of nearly all of the 18-kDa propeptide before elastase is a protein competent for extracellular secretion.
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