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J Biol Chem. 2004 Sep 10;279(37):38555-62. Epub 2004 Jul 7.

Endo-beta-mannosidase, a plant enzyme acting on N-glycan: purification, molecular cloning, and characterization.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan.


Endo-beta-mannosidase is a novel endoglycosidase that hydrolyzes the Manbeta1-4GlcNAc linkage in the trimannosyl core structure of N-glycans. This enzyme was partially purified and characterized in a previous report (Sasaki, A., Yamagishi, M., Mega, T., Norioka, S., Natsuka, S., and Hase, S. (1999) J. Biochem. 125, 363-367). Here we report the purification and molecular cloning of endo-beta-mannosidase. The enzyme purified from lily flowers gave a single band on native-PAGE and three bands on SDS-PAGE with molecular masses of 42, 31, and 28 kDa. Amino acid sequence information from these three polypeptides allowed the cloning of a homologous gene, AtEBM, from Arabidopsis thaliana. AtEBM was engineered for expression in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant protein comprised a single polypeptide chain with a molecular mass of 112 kDa corresponding to the sum of molecular masses of three polypeptides of the lily enzyme. The recombinant protein hydrolyzed pyridylamino derivatives (PA) of Manalpha1-6Manbeta1-4Glc-NAcbeta1-4GlcNAc into Manalpha1-6Man and GlcNAcbeta1-4Glc-NAc-PA, showing that AtEBM is an endo-beta-mannosidase. AtEBM hydrolyzed Man(n)Manalpha1-6Manbeta1-4GlcNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc-PA (n = 0-2) but not PA-sugar chains containing Manalpha1-3Manbeta or Xylosebeta1-2Manbeta as for the lily endo-beta-mannosidase. AtEBM belonged to the clan GH-A of glycosyl hydrolases. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that two glutamic acid residues (Glu-464 and Glu-549) conserved in this clan were critical for enzyme activity. The amino acid sequence of AtEBM has distinct differences from those of the bacterial, fungal, and animal exo-type beta-mannosidases. Indeed, AtEBM-like genes are only found in plants, indicating that endo-beta-mannosidase is a plant-specific enzyme. The role of this enzyme in the processing and/or degradation of N-glycan will be discussed.

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