Fifty-five randomly selected strains were examined for fatty acid modifying enzyme (FAME) production. Of these, 20.4% did not elaborate the enzyme. Amongst the remaining strains, the lowest level produced in culture was 0.1 unit/10 cocci and the maximum was 2.01 U/10 cocci; the median level was 0.4 U/10 cocci. In a series of straight-chain saturated fatty acids with 11–24 carbons, all could be esterified by FAME. However, those with 15–19 carbons were generally better substrates than the others. For a particular chain length, the unsaturated forms were better substrates than the saturated form. Triglycerides with unsaturated fatty acid side chains were potent inhibitors of FAME. Diglycerides were almost as active as triglycerides, but monoglycerides were much less inhibitory. FAME was purified by gel filtration followed by hydrophobic interaction chromatography on hexyl agarose. FAME and lipase may have a role in determining the survival of in lesions.


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