Substitutions of an aspartate or an arginine residue for the glycine residue at position 366 of the mature part of levansucrase were obtained by mutagenesis. Quantitative estimation from immunoblot analysis showed that the two transient membrane forms of the modified proteins were present in the membrane at the same level as that of the wild-type protein. The proteolytic processing, which was previously shown to be the first step of the levansucrase secretion process, was not affected in these modified proteins. Results from pulse-chase experiments showed that the half-times for secretion of the modified levansucrases into the culture medium were nearly the same as that of the wild-type protein, but the amount of the modified proteins secreted was significantly reduced. Purified samples of the modified enzymes were subtilisin insensitive and possessed enzyme activities very similar to those of the wild-type enzyme. The results suggest that the 366 site probably belongs to a functional domain of the protein which could play an important role in the second step of the levansucrase secretion process.


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