Mutant subtilisin E with enhanced protease activity obtained by site-directed mutagenesis

H. Takagi, Y. Morinaga, H. Ikemura, M. Inouye

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The specific activity of subtilisin E, an alkaline serine protease of Bacillus subtilis, was substantially increased by optimizing the amino acid residue at position 31 (Ile in the wild-type enzyme) in the vicinity of the catalytic triad of the enzyme. Eight uncharged amino acids (Cys, Ser, Thr, Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, and Phe) were introduced at this site, which is next to catalytic Asp32, using site-directed mutagenesis. Mutant enzymes were expressed in Escherichia coli and were prepared from the periplasmic space. Only the Val and Leu substitutions gave active enzyme, and the Leu31 mutant was found to have a greatly increased activity compared to the wild-type enzyme. The other six mutant enzymes showed a marked decrease in activity. This result indicates that a branched-chain amino acid at position 31 is essential for the expression of subtilisin activity and that the level of the activity depends on side chain structure. The purified Leu31 mutant enzyme was analyzed with respect to substrate specificity, heat stability, and optimal temperature. It was found that the Leu31 replacement caused a prominent 2-6-fold increase in catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) due to a larger k(cat) for peptide substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19592-19596
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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