Cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase; EC 220.127.116.11) is produced mainly by Bacillus strains. CGTase from Bacillus macerans IFO3490 produces alpha-cyclodextrin as the major hydrolysis product from starch, whereas thermostable CGTase from Bacillus stearothermophilus NO2 produces alpha- and beta-cyclodextrins. To analyze the cyclization characteristics of CGTase, we cloned different types of CGTase genes and constructed chimeric genes. CGTase genes from these two strains were cloned in Bacillus subtilis NA-1 by using pTB523 as a vector plasmid, and their nucleotide sequences were determined. Three CGTase genes (cgt-1, cgt-5, and cgt-232) were isolated from B. stearothermophilus NO2. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the three CGTase genes have different nucleotide sequences encoding the same amino acid sequence. Base substitutions were found at the third letter of five codons among the three genes. Each open reading frame was composed of 2,133 bases, encoding 711 amino acids containing 31 amino acids as a signal sequence. The molecular weight of the mature enzyme was estimated to be 75,374. The CGTase gene (cgtM) of B. macerans IFO3490 was composed of 2,142 bases, encoding 714 amino acids containing 27 residues as a signal sequence. The molecular weight of the mature enzyme was estimated to be 74,008. The sequence determined in this work was quite different from that reported previously by other workers. From data on the three-dimensional structure of a CGTase, seven kinds of chimeric CGTase genes were constructed by using cgt-1 from B. stearothermophilus NO2 and cgtM from B. macerans IFO3490. We examined the characteristics of these chimeric enzymes on cyclodextrin production and thermostability. It was found that the cyclization reaction was conferred by the NH2-terminal region of CGTase and that the thermostability of some chimeric enzymes was lower than that of the parental CGTases
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