Bacillus subtilis PrsA is required in vivo as an extracytoplasmic chaperone for secretion of active enzymes synthesized either with or without pro-sequences

Mol Microbiol. 1993 May;8(5):957-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1993.tb01640.x.


In prsA (protein secretion) mutants of Bacillus subtilis, decreased levels of exoproteins, including alpha-amylase and subtilisins, are found extracellularly. The effect of prsA on subtilisin secretion is elaborated here. Extracytoplasmic folding and secretion of active subtilisin is assisted by the N-terminal pro-sequence of its precursor. In this paper we present evidence that the product of the prsA gene is additionally required for these processes in vivo. We examined inducible expression of different subtilisin-alkaline phosphatase fusion genes in the prsA3 mutant. We found massive degradation of the fusion proteins, and a lack of enzymatic activity in the protein secreted. We suggest that PrsA is a novel chaperone with a predicted extracytoplasmic location, and is important in vivo for the proper conformation of various exoproteins, including those with pro-sequence (like subtilisin) and those without (like alpha-amylase).

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / biosynthesis
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chaperonins
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins / genetics
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Folding*
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • Protein Sorting Signals / metabolism*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Subtilisins / biosynthesis
  • Subtilisins / genetics
  • Subtilisins / metabolism*
  • alpha-Amylases / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • alpha-Amylases
  • Endopeptidases
  • Subtilisins
  • Chaperonins