When Mucor hiemalis NRRL 3103 was grown in soybean medium, only a small fraction of the proteinase produced by the organism appeared in the culture filtrate, whereas the bulk of the enzyme was bound to the mycelial surface. Optimal pH of the proteinase ranged from 3.0 to 3.5. Inclusion of sodium chloride or other ionizable salts in the growth medium, however, resulted in the liberation from the mycelium of the loosely bound enzyme as it was formed. Maximal release of proteinase was achieved at a sodium chloride concentration of 0.5 m. The loosely bound proteinase was eluted also from intact resting mycelium by ionizable salts but not by water or by nonionizable substances. The amount of enzyme eluted from the mycelium depended upon the concentration of sodium chloride up to 0.3 m. Since liberation took place rapidly even at 0 C, a loose ionic linkage must exist rather than a biochemical binding of the enzyme to the mycelium. The recovery of proteolytic activity from repeated salt extractions was greater than that originally detected in the intact mycelium, possibly owing to unmasking of more active enzymes or functional groups. Further proteinase activity was released when salt-extracted mycelium was ruptured. Part of the proteinase thus observed was firmly attached to the cell fraction, and part of it appeared in the supernatant fluid. These conditions implied the presence of intracellular or firmly attached proteinase which could be partially released
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