A psychrotrophic bacterium Shewanella sp. strain SIB1 was grown at 4 and 20 degrees C, and total soluble proteins extracted from the cells were analyzed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Comparison of these patterns showed that the cellular content of a protein with a molecular mass of 28 kDa and an isoelectric point of four greatly increased at 4 degrees C compared to that at 20 degrees C. Determination of the N-terminal amino acid sequence, followed by the cloning and sequencing of the gene encoding this protein, revealed that this protein is a member of the FKBP family of proteins with an amino acid sequence identity of 56% to Escherichia coli FKBP22. This protein was overproduced in E. coli in a His-tagged form, purified, and analyzed for peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity. When this activity was determined by the protease coupling assay using N-succinyl-Ala-Leu-Pro-Phe-p-nitroanilide as a substrate at various temperatures, the protein exhibited the highest activity at 10 degrees C with a k(cat)/K(m) value of 0.87 micro m(-1) x s(-1). When the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity was determined by the RNase T(1) refolding assay at 10 and 20 degrees C, the protein exhibited higher activity at 10 degrees C with a k(cat)/K(m) value of 0.50 micro m(-1) x s(-1). These k(cat)/K(m) values are lower but comparable to those of E. coli FKBP22. We propose that a FKBP family protein is involved in cold-adaptation of psychrotrophic bacteria.