Properties of secreted protease from vegetative Trichoderma atroviride mycelia cultivated with protein inducer reveal a complex protein-recognition mechanism.

Research paper by Martin M Simkovič, Anita A Gdovinová, Zuzana Z Zemková, Ludovít L Varečka

Indexed on: 23 Aug '11Published on: 23 Aug '11Published in: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek


In this study, the submerged cultivation of Trichoderma atroviride with protein substrate (bovine serum albumin, casein, ovalbumin, etc.) led to the secretion of protease activity (PA) into the medium. The secretion started within 30 h and rose to the maximum after 72-h cultivation. It continued upon the prolonged cultivation (up to 8 days) with lower secreted PA. Zymography of the secreted protease (SDS-PAGE with 0.2% gelatine), revealing high molecular weight (m.w.) protease(s) (~200 kDa) with high autolytic activity as the only secretory product. Enzymological characteristics of high m.w. proteases elicited by different inducer proteins were surprisingly different, suggesting that mycelia can recognize not only the presence of inducer proteins but also some qualitative characteristics. Low m.w. protease(s), as found from other studies was(were) seen after prolonged cultivation only, as a band with m.w. about 36 kDa. Expression of known Trichoderma spp. genes encoding secreted proteases, prb1 and proA, showed that only prb1 was expressed after 3-4 days of cultivation, i.e., after the early-secretion phase. The secretory activity of the earlier phase was impaired by tunicamycin and brefeldin A and was significantly stimulated by uncoupler. The existence of a biphasic fungal secretory response and the protein quality recognition represent previously unrecognized processes.