Improved production of secreted heterologous enzyme in Bacillus subtilis strain MGB874 via modification of glutamate metabolism and growth conditions

Kenji Manabe, Yasushi Kageyama, Takuya Morimoto, Eri Shimizu, Hiroki Takahashi, Shigehiko Kanaya, Katsutoshi Ara, Katsuya Ozaki*, Naotake Ogasawara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Bacillus subtilis genome-reduced strain MGB874 exhibits enhanced production of exogenous extracellular enzymes under batch fermentation conditions. We predicted that deletion of the gene for RocG, a bi-functional protein that acts as a glutamate dehydrogenase and an indirect repressor of glutamate synthesis, would improve glutamate metabolism, leading to further increased enzyme production. However, deletion of rocG dramatically decreased production of the alkaline cellulase Egl-237 in strain MGB874 (strain 874{increment}rocG).Results: Transcriptome analysis and cultivation profiles suggest that this phenomenon is attributable to impaired secretion of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 and nitrogen starvation, caused by decreased external pH and ammonium depletion, respectively. With NH3-pH auxostat fermentation, production of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 in strain 874{increment}rocG was increased, exceeding that in the wild-type-background strain 168{increment}rocG. Notably, in strain 874{increment}rocG, high enzyme productivity was observed throughout cultivation, possibly due to enhancement of metabolic flux from 2-oxoglutarate to glutamate and generation of metabolic energy through activation of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The level of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 obtained corresponded to about 5.5 g l-1, the highest level reported so far.Conclusions: We found the highest levels of production of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 with the reduced-genome strain 874{increment}rocG and using the NH3-pH auxostat. Deletion of the glutamate dehydrogenase gene rocG enhanced enzyme production via a prolonged auxostat fermentation, possibly due to improved glutamate synthesis and enhanced generation of metabolism energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb 18
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Genome reduction
  • Glutamate metabolism
  • Protein secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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