SUMMARY: The optimum conditions for autolysis of ATCC 824 were determined. Autolysis was optimal at pH 6.3 and 55 °C in 0.1 M-sodium acetate/phosphate buffer. The ability of cells to autolyse decreased sharply at the end of the exponential phase of growth. Lysis was stimulated by monovalent cations and compounds that complex divalent cations, and inhibited by divalent cations. The autolysin of , which was mainly cytoplasmic, was purified to homogeneity and characterized as a muramidase. The enzyme was identical to the extracellular muramidase in terms of , isoelectric point and NH-terminal amino acid sequence. The autolysin was inhibited by lipoteichoic acids and cardiolipin but not by phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol. A mechanism of regulation and fixation involving lipoteichoic acid, cardiolipin and divalent cations is proposed.


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