An extracellular hemolytic toxin of Aeromonas salmonicida, termed salmolysin, was purified 945-fold by ammonium sulfate precipitation, anion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, and gel filtration chromatography on Sephadex G-100 and Sepharose 2B. Salmolysin appeared homogeneous upon cellulose acetate membrane electrophoresis and immunodiffusion analysis. The molecular weight of the toxin was estimated to be approximately 200,000 by the sedimentation equilibrium method. The UV absorption spectrum showed a maximum at 275 nm and a minimum at 262 nm. The isoelectric point was found to be at pI 5.4. Carbohydrate and protein analyses and other biochemical data indicated that salmolysin is a glycoprotein, containing approximately 62% carbohydrates. The toxin is a heat-labile substance and is stable at a neutral pH value. Ferrous ion inhibited the activity, whereas metal-chelating agents did not affect the activity. Sulfhydryl reagents did not inhibit the toxin, whereas reducing agents, such as L-cysteine and reduced glutathione, inhibited the toxin to a certain extent. Salmolysin was inactivated by a nonionic detergent but was stimulated by an anionic detergent, sodium deoxycholate, at a low concentration. The toxin was also inactivated by subtilisin and trypsin but was not inhibited by papain and pepsin. Salmolysin, with a remarkable hemolytic activity against salmonid erythrocytes, was lethal to rainbow trout when it was injected intramuscularly
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