1. Intracellular turnover of protein was measured in wild-type Bacillus subtilis, which produces exoprotease at stage I in the sporulation process. Protein is degraded at a rate of 8–10%/hr. 2. As a result of this turnover, the proteins of the mother cell are extensively degraded and resynthesized by about 6hr., so that the later stages of spore formation occur in a cytoplasm containing mainly ‘new’ protein. 3. The same protease appears to be responsible both for the intracellular turnover of protein and for extracellular proteolytic activity. In mutants that have lost the exoenzyme the intracellular protein is stable for many hours. In addition, these mutants fail to produce antibiotic and are asporogenous. When the exoprotease is regained as a result of back-mutation all the lost capacities of the cell are restored together. 4. Protease activity also accounts for the change in antigenic pattern of extracts of cells sampled during sporulation. Immunoelectrophoresis shows that, in the wild-type, the antigens characteristic of the vegetative cell have largely disappeared after a few hours; in the proteaseless mutants the vegetative-cell pattern is conserved. Apart from changing the protein pattern of the cell the protease could also have the function of removing protein inhibitors of sporulation. Other possible interpretations of the results are discussed.

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