SUMMARY: λ-Lysin was purifed from strains Smith 5R and PG23 (a toxic shock syndrome isolate) by a combination of heparin-agarose and hydroxylapatite chromatography. Both strains produced two haemolytic components, designated λ, and λ. Though each component was weakly haemolytic they acted synergistically to potentiate haemolysis on rabbit, sheep and human blood. Rabbit and sheep erythrocytes were more sensitive to lysis by λ-lysin than human erythrocytes. The molecular mass of λ was 32 kDa and its pI value was 9.4. λ had a molecular mass of 36 kDa and a pI value of 9.3. While both trypsin and papain acted synergistically with λ to induce increased haemolysis, no such synergism was seen with λ,. Also, protease inhibitors acted to inhibit synergism between λ, and λ. These findings suggest that λ could be a protease.


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