Fatty acid modifying enzyme (FAME) is an extracellular enzyme that inactivates bactericidal fatty acids by esterifying them to cholesterol. Inactivation of these fatty acids may allow to live for long periods of time on the skin. This study describes the identification and partial characterisation of an extracellular activator of FAME production. Addition of FAME-free concentrated culture filtrate (activator) to cultures (OD = 0.05) caused a 3–5-fold increase in FAME activity. Addition of the activator did not increase the amount of exopolysaccharide produced by . The mol. wt of this activator was <3000 kDa and it was quite resistant to boiling. Treatment of the activator with proteinase K did not destroy its ability to induce FAME expression. Addition of activator to cultures also increased FAME expression. However, when activator was added to cultures no increase or inhibition in FAME production was observed.


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