Two-step secretion of the Serratia marcescens extracellular nuclease

Yousin Suh, Shida Jin, Timothy K. Ball, Michael J. Benedik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The extracellular nuclease of Serratia marcescens is one of a wide variety of enzymes secreted into the growth medium. Its appearance occurs late in the growth of a culture, and its gene, nucA, is transcriptionally regulated in a complex fashion by growth phase and other factors. Pulse- labeling studies reveal that extracellular secretion of nuclease occurs as a two-step process. In the first step, nuclease is rapidly translocated across the cytoplasmic membrane into the periplasm, where it accumulates as a mature active nuclease. A precursor protein, nuclease still carrying its signal sequence, was detected in the presence of carbonyl cyanide m- chlorophenylhydrazone or sodium azide, suggesting that this initial translocation and signal processing step involves an energy-dependent and Sec-dependent pathway in S. marcescens. The second step of secretion across the outer membrane is a slow process requiring between 30 to 120 min, depending on growth conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3771-3778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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