Some Components of the Lytic system of Gram-Positive Micro-Organisms

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FOLLOWING certain pioneer work and suggestions by our former colleague, Dr. H. Henry, it was apparent that much information regarding the structure of Gram-positive bacteria and their behaviour when acted upon by antibiotics could be obtained from a study of bacterial autolysis. The few detailed studies of autolysis which have previously been made have been mainly conftned to the pneumo. coccus group. Goebel and Avery1 showed that the autolytic disintegration of pneumococci was accompanied by proteolysis resulting in an increase in both amino-nitrogen and non-coagulable nitrogen, and by lipolysis liberating ether-soluble fatty acids. A nonspecific cell-free autolytic enzyme system acted upon heat-killed pneumococci to give results comparable with those from spontaneous autolysis and also brought about the partiai lysis of suspensions of heat-killed Streptococcus viridan2.

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STACEY, M., WEBB, M. Some Components of the Lytic system of Gram-Positive Micro-Organisms. Nature 162, 11–13 (1948) doi:10.1038/162011a0

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