Lookup NU author(s): Alan Cartmell,
Professor Rick Lewis,
Professor Harry Gilbert,
Dr Jon Marles-Wright
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Reflecting the diverse chemistry of plant cell walls, microorganisms that degrade these composite structures synthesize an array of glycoside hydrolases. These enzymes are organized into sequence-, mechanism-, and structure-based families. Genomic data have shown that several organisms that degrade the plant cell wall contain a large number of genes encoding family 43 (GH43) glycoside hydrolases. Here we report the biochemical properties of the GH43 enzymes of a saprophytic soil bacterium, Cellvibrio japonicus, and a human colonic symbiont, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. The data show that C. japonicus uses predominantly exo-acting enzymes to degrade arabinan into arabinose, whereas B. thetaiotaomicron deploys a combination of endo-and side chain-cleaving glycoside hydrolases. Both organisms, however, utilize an arabinan-specific alpha-1,2-arabinofuranosidase in the degradative process, an activity that has not previously been reported. The enzyme can cleave alpha-1,2-arabinofuranose decorations in single or double substitutions, the latter being recalcitrant to the action of other arabinofuranosidases. The crystal structure of the C. japonicus arabinan-specific alpha-1,2-arabinofuranosidase, CjAbf43A, displays a five-bladed beta-propeller fold. The specificity of the enzyme for arabinan is conferred by a surface cleft that is complementary to the helical backbone of the polysaccharide. The specificity of CjAbf43A for alpha-1,2-L-arabinofuranose side chains is conferred by a polar residue that orientates the arabinan backbone such that O2 arabinose decorations are directed into the active site pocket. A shelflike structure adjacent to the active site pocket accommodates O3 arabinose side chains, explaining how the enzyme can target O2 linkages that are components of single or double substitutions.
Author(s): Cartmell A, McKee LS, Pena MJ, Larsbrink J, Brumer H, Kaneko S, Ichinose H, Lewis RJ, Vikso-Nielsen A, Gilbert HJ, Marles-Wright J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Print publication date: 21/02/2011
ISSN (print): 0021-9258
ISSN (electronic): 1083-351X
Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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