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  • 1 Microbiological Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Szeged P. O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 2 Microbiological Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Szeged P.O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 3 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged P. O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 4 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged P. O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 5 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged Somogyi Béla tér 1, H-6725 Szeged, Hungary
  • 6 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged P. O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 7 I: Microbiological Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Szeged; II: Department of Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged I: P. O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary; II: Somogyi Béla tér 1, H-6725 Szeged, Hungary
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Species belonging to the filamentous fungal genus Trichoderma are well known as potential candidates for the biological control of plant pathogenic fungi and as cellulase producers of biotechnological importance. Several data were published in the last decade also about the clinical importance of this genus, indicating that Trichoderma strains may be potential opportunistic pathogens in immunocompromised patients. However, there is a lack of information about the potential virulence factors of clinical Trichoderma strains. This study was designed to examine the extracellular proteolytic enzymes of six clinical T. longibrachiatum isolates. Supernatants from induced liquid cultures of the examined strains were screened for proteolytic enzyme activities with 11 different chromogenic p-nitroaniline substrates. The production of trypsin-like, chymotrypsin-like and chymoelastase-like protease activities cleaving N-Benzoyl-L-Phe-L-Val-L-Arg-p-nitroanilide, N-Succinyl-L-Ala-L-Ala-L-Pro-L-Phe-p-nitroanilide,and N-Succinyl-L- Ala-L-Ala-L-Pro-L-Leu-p-nitroanilide, respectively, was common among the strains examined. Separation of trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like activities by column chromatography revealed, that both systems are complex consisting of several isoenzymes. The pH-dependence of these two protease systems was also studied. Based on the results, the different isoenzymes seem to have different optimal pH values. Extracellular proteolytic enzymes may be involved in the pathogenecity of Trichoderma strains as facultative human pathogens.

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