Characterization of the exosporium of Bacillus cereus

J Appl Microbiol. 1999 Aug;87(2):241-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.1999.00878.x.


Exosporium components from endospores of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10876 were purified and separated by gel electrophoresis. Several of the proteins for which N-terminal sequences were recovered were found to have homologues in protein databases which have been demonstrated to have enzymic activity in other organisms. Amongst these is a zinc metalloprotease, immune inhibitor A, already described in B. thuringiensis. This has been shown to be present in an active 73 kDa form on the exosporium of B. cereus. Other proteins associated with the exosporium include the molecular chaperone GroEL and a homologue of RocA (1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase (EC of B. subtilis. Although these are unlikely to represent integral structural proteins of the exosporium, the observation that they are selectively present in the spore surface layer suggests that this layer may have functional significance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus cereus / physiology*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Spores, Bacterial* / chemistry
  • Spores, Bacterial* / physiology
  • Spores, Bacterial* / ultrastructure