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Production of the Bacillus licheniformis SubC protease using Lactococcus lactis NICE expression system

Aleksandra M Mirończuk12, Anna Krasowska2, Anna Murzyn2, Małgorzata Płachetka2 and Marcin Łukaszewicz123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biotechnology and Food Microbiology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Chełmońskiego 37/41, Wrocław, 51-630, Poland

2 Department of Biotransformation, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Przybyszewskiego 63-77, Wroclaw, 51-148, Poland

3 Faculty of Chemistry, Wrocław University of Technology, Gdańska 7/9, Wrocław, 50-344, Poland

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SpringerPlus 2012, 1:54  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-54

Published: 29 November 2012


In this work the subC gene from Bacillus licheniformis encoding subtilisin was cloned into the nisin-controlled expression (NICE) vectors (pNZ8048 and pNZ8148) with or without the signal peptide SP Usp45 directing extracellular secretion via Sec machinery. Extracellular protease production and activity was tested using Lactococcus lactis NZ9000 as host, which could be used for rennet production. The efficiency of protein production was tested using purified nisin and the supernatant of L. lactis NZ970 nisin producer. Similar results were obtained for 1 ng/ml nisin and 10 000 diluted supernatant. SP Usp45 signal peptide effectively directed extracellular localization of active and stable protease. SubC signal for extracellular localization in B. licheniformis, was also recognized by L. lactis Sec pathway, although with lower efficiency, as shown by a 3-fold lower protease activity in the medium. Protease production and activity was optimized using parameters such as induction time, nutrients (glucose, casitone) supplementation during growth or protease stabilization by calcium ions. The results were also verified in fed-batch bioreactor for further scale-up of the expression system.

Lactic acid bacteria; Lactococcus lactis; Nisin-controlled expression system; NICE; Bacillus licheniformis; SubC protease