2Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, pl. Kurchatova 2, 123182 Moscow, Russia; fax: (499) 196-0221; E-mail: email@example.com
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received December 3, 2008; Revision received December 23, 2008
The ability of protealysin, a thermolysin-like metallopeptidase from Serratia proteamaculans 94, to cleave actin and matrix metalloprotease MMP2 is reported. In globular actin, protealysin and S. proteamaculans 94 cell extracts are shown to hydrolyze the Gly42–Val43 peptide bond within the DNase-binding loop and the Gly63–Ile64 and Thr66–Ile67 peptide bonds within the nucleotide cleft of the molecule. At enzyme/substrate mass ratio of 1 : 50 and below, a 36 kDa-fragment produced by the cleavage between Gly42 and Val43 was virtually resistant to further breakdown. Judging from the results of zymography, protealysin transforms proMMP2 into a 66 kDa polypeptide characteristic of mature MMP2, indicating that protealysin can activate MMP2. Upon incubation of S. proteamaculans 94 with human larynx carcinoma Hep-2 cells intracellular bacteria were detected in about 10% of Hep-2 cells, this being the first evidence for invasion of eukaryotic cells with bacteria of this species. Thus, S. proteamaculans 94 turned out to be one more bacterial strain in which synthesis of actin-specific metalloprotease is coupled with bacterial invasion. These results are consistent with the idea of the actinase activity of bacterial metalloproteases being a factor that may promote bacterial invasion of eukaryotic cells.
KEY WORDS: actin, metalloprotease, Serratia, bacterial invasion, ECP32, grimelysin