Research Article

Salt stress represses production of extracellular proteases in Bacillus pumilus

Published: May 11, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (2) : 4939-4948 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.May.11.27
Cite this Article:
(2015). Salt stress represses production of extracellular proteases in Bacillus pumilus. Genet. Mol. Res. 14(2): gmr5187. https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.May.11.27
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Abstract

Bacillus pumilus is able to secrete subtilisin-like prote­ases, one of which has been purified and characterized biochemically, demonstrating great potential for use in industrial applications. In the current study, the biosynthesis and transcription of extracellular pro­teases in B. pumilus (BA06) under salt stress were investigated using various methods, including a proteolytic assay, zymogram analysis, and real-time PCR. Our results showed that total extracellular proteolytic activity, both in fermentation broth and on milk-containing agar plates, was considerably repressed by salt in a dosage-dependent manner. As Bacillus species usually secret multiple extracellular proteases, a vari­ety of individual extracellular protease encoding genes were selected for real-time PCR analysis. It was shown that proteases encoded by the aprE and aprX genes were the major proteases in the fermentation broth in terms of their transcripts in B. pumilus. Further, transcription of aprE, aprX, and epr genes was indeed repressed by salt stress. In con­trast, transcription of other genes (e.g., vpr and wprA) was not repressed or significantly affected by the salt. Conclusively, salt stress represses total extracellular proteolytic activity in B. pumilus, which can largely be ascribed to suppression of the major protease-encoding genes (aprE, aprX) at the transcriptional level. In contrast, transcription of other pro­tease-encoding genes (e.g., vpr, wprA) was not repressed by salt stress.

Bacillus pumilus is able to secrete subtilisin-like prote­ases, one of which has been purified and characterized biochemically, demonstrating great potential for use in industrial applications. In the current study, the biosynthesis and transcription of extracellular pro­teases in B. pumilus (BA06) under salt stress were investigated using various methods, including a proteolytic assay, zymogram analysis, and real-time PCR. Our results showed that total extracellular proteolytic activity, both in fermentation broth and on milk-containing agar plates, was considerably repressed by salt in a dosage-dependent manner. As Bacillus species usually secret multiple extracellular proteases, a vari­ety of individual extracellular protease encoding genes were selected for real-time PCR analysis. It was shown that proteases encoded by the aprE and aprX genes were the major proteases in the fermentation broth in terms of their transcripts in B. pumilus. Further, transcription of aprE, aprX, and epr genes was indeed repressed by salt stress. In con­trast, transcription of other genes (e.g., vpr and wprA) was not repressed or significantly affected by the salt. Conclusively, salt stress represses total extracellular proteolytic activity in B. pumilus, which can largely be ascribed to suppression of the major protease-encoding genes (aprE, aprX) at the transcriptional level. In contrast, transcription of other pro­tease-encoding genes (e.g., vpr, wprA) was not repressed by salt stress.

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