Cloning and expression of islandisin, a new thermostable subtilisin from Fervidobacterium islandicum, in Escheria coli

C. Godde, K. Sahm, S.J.J. Brouns, L.D. Kluskens, J. van der Oost, W.M. de Vos, G. Antranikian

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23 Citations (Scopus)


A gene encoding a subtilisin-like protease, designated islandisin, from the extremely thermophilic bacterium Fervidobacterium islandicum (DSMZ 5733) was cloned and actively expressed in Escherichia coli. The gene was identified by PCR using degenerated primers based on conserved regions around two of the three catalytic residues (Asp, His, and Ser) of subtilisin-like serine protease-encoding genes. Using inverse PCR regions flanking the catalytic residues, the gene could be cloned. Sequencing revealed an open reading frame of 2,106 bp. The deduced amino acid sequence indicated that the enzyme is synthesized as a proenzyme with a putative signal sequence of 33 amino acids (aa) in length. The mature protein contains the three catalytic residues (Asp177, His215, and Ser391) and has a length of 668 aa. Amino acid sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis indicated that this enzyme could be classified as a subtilisin-like serine protease in the subgroup of thermitase. The whole gene was amplified by PCR, ligated into pET-15b, and successfully expressed in E. coli BL21(DE3)pLysS. The recombinant islandisin was purified by heat denaturation, followed by hydroxyapatite chromatography. The enzyme is active at a broad range of temperatures (60 to 80°C) and pHs (pH 6 to 8.5) and shows optimal proteolytic activity at 80°C and pH 8.0. Islandisin is resistant to a number of detergents and solvents and shows high thermostability over a long period of time (up to 32 h) at 80°C with a half-life of 4 h at 90°C and 1.5 h at 100°C
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3951-3958
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • intramolecular chaperone
  • serine proteases
  • protein
  • thermotogales
  • fervidolysin
  • pennivorans
  • alignment
  • sequence
  • enzymes

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