Characterization of prtADelta mutants, generated by gene disruption, showed that the prtA gene is responsible for the majority of extracellular protease activity secreted by Aspergillus nidulans at both neutral and acid pH. The prtA delta mutation was used to map the prtA gene to chromosome V. Though aspartic protease activity has never been reported in A. nidulans and the prtADelta mutants appear to lack detectable acid protease activity, a gene (prtB) encoding a putative aspartic protease was isolated from this species. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of PrtB to the sequence of other aspergillopepsins suggests that the putative prtB gene product contains an eight-amino-acid deletion prior to the second active site Asp residue of the protease. RT-PCR experiments showed that the prtB gene is expressed, albeit at a low level.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.