SUMMARY: RZ has been previously shown to possess pronounced cell-surface hydrophobicity, as evidenced by its affinity for hydrocarbons and polystyrene. The present report suggests the involvement of a 70 kDa protein, serraphobin, in this phenomenon. The 70 kDa protein was recovered from both the cell surface and culture supernatant of hydrophobic wild-type cells, but was either totally absent or present in minor quantities in hydrophobicity-deficient mutants. Similarly, loss of hydrophobicity of RZ cells following growth at 39.C was accompanied by loss of the protein. Serraphobin was capable of binding to hexadecane droplets following a brief mixing procedure, and could be desorbed by solidifying and melting the hexadecane phase.


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