Discovery of a novel gene involved in autolysis of Clostridium cells

Liejian Yang, Guanhui Bao, Yan Zhu, Hongjun Dong, Yanping Zhang, Yin Li

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Cell autolysis plays important physiological roles in the life cycle of clostridial cells. Understanding the genetic basis of the autolysis phenomenon of pathogenic Clostridium or solvent producing Clostridium cells might provide new insights into this important species. Genes that might be involved in autolysis of Clostridium acetobutylicum, a model clostridial species, were investigated in this study. Twelve putative autolysin genes were predicted in C. acetobutylicum DSM 1731 genome through bioinformatics analysis. Of these 12 genes, gene SMB_G3117 was selected for testing the in tracellular autolysin activity, growth profile, viable cell numbers, and cellular morphology. We found that overexpression of SMB_G3117 gene led to earlier ceased growth, significantly increased number of dead cells, and clear electrolucent cavities, while disruption of SMB_G3117 gene exhibited remarkably reduced intracellular autolysin activity. These results indicate that SMB_G3117 is a novel gene involved in cellular autolysis of C. acetobutylicum. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalProtein & Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • autolysins
  • cell autolysis
  • Clostridium
  • gene SMB_G3117

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