SUMMARY: A bacterial strain, AE1, which hydrolysed acetanilide, was isolated from soil and identified as Numerous amides, esters and enzyme inhibitors were tested as amidase inducers. Phenacetin was chosen as inducer for the large scale cultivation of these organisms because it was less toxic to the bacteria than acetanilide. The induction increased the enzymic activity 250-fold. In comparison, the type culture strain of ATCC15668, had no amidase activity which could be induced phenacetin. Optimal growth conditions were established with respect to the concentration of carbon source and inducer so that about 10% of the extractable bacterial protein consisted of the amidase. The organisms were lysed with lysozyme in the presence of EDTA and the enzyme was isolated mainly column chromatography procedures. A preparation from 60 g (wet wt) bacteria yielded about 100 mg highly purified amidase with a specific activity of 137 μmol substrate hydrolysed/min/mg protein. In addition to acetanilide, the purified enzyme hydrolysed several other amides and esters. As standard substrate, -nitroacetanilide was chosen.


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