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Sequencing of a 1,3-1,4-beta-D-glucanase (lichenase) from the anaerobic fungus Orpinomyces strain PC-2: properties of the enzyme expressed in Escherichia coli and evidence that the gene has a bacterial origin.

By H Chen, X L Li and L G Ljungdahl


A 971-bp cDNA, designated licA, was obtained from a library of Orpinomyces sp. strain PC-2 constructed in Escherichia coli. It had an open reading frame of 738 nucleotides encoding LicA (1,3-1,4-beta-D-glucanase; lichenase) (EC of 245 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 27,929 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence had high homology with bacterial beta-glucanases, particularly in the central regions and toward the C-terminal halves of bacterial enzymes. LicA had no homology with plant beta-glucanases. The genomic DNA region coding for LicA was devoid of introns. More than 95% of the recombinant beta-glucanase produced in E. coli cells was found in the culture medium and periplasmic space. A N-terminal signal peptide of 29 amino residues was cleaved from the enzyme secreted from Orpinomyces, whereas 21 amino acid residues of the signal peptide were removed when the enzyme was produced by E. coli. The beta-glucanase produced by E. coli was purified from the culture medium. It had a molecular mass of 27 kDa on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. The Km and Vmax values with lichenin as the substrate at pH 6.0 and 40 degrees C were 0.75 mg/ml and 3,790 micromol/min/mg, respectively. With barley beta-glucan as the substrate, the corresponding values were 0.91 mg/ml and 5,320 micromol/min/mg. This enzyme did not hydrolyze laminarin, carboxymethylcellulose, pustulan, or xylan. The main products of lichenin and barley beta-glucan hydrolysis were triose and tetraose. LicA represented the first 1,3-1,4-beta-D-glucanase reported from fungi. The results presented suggest that licA of Orpinomyces had a bacterial origin

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.179.19.6028-6034.1997
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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