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Eur J Biochem. 1999 Feb;259(3):577-85.

Kinetic characterization of Aspergillus niger N400 endopolygalacturonases I, II and C.

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Section Molecular Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands.


Endopolygalacturonases I, II and C isolated from recombinant Aspergillus niger strains were characterized with respect to pH optimum, activity on polygalacturonic acid and mode of action and kinetics on oligogalacturonates of different chain length (n = 3-7). Apparent Vmax values using polygalacturonate as a substrate at the pH optimum, pH 4.1, were calculated as 13.8, 36.5 and 415 for endopolygalacturonases I, II and C, respectively. K(m) values were < 0.15 mg.mL-1 for all three enzymes. Product progression analysis using polygalacturonate as a substrate revealed a random cleavage pattern for all three enzymes and suggested processive behavior for endopolygalacturonases I and C. This result was confirmed by analysis of the mode of action using oligogalacturonates. Processivity was observed when the degree of polymerization of the substrate exceeded 5 or 6 for endopolygalacturonase I and endopolygalacturonase C, respectively. The bond-cleavage frequencies obtained for the hydrolysis of the oligogalacturonates were used to assess subsite maps. The maps indicate that the minimum number of subsites is seven for all three enzymes. Using pectins of various degrees of esterification, it was shown that endopolygalacturonase II is the most sensitive to the presence of methyl esters. Like endopolygalacturonase II, endopolygalacturonases I, C and E, which was also included in this part of the study, preferred the non-esterified pectate. Additional differences in substrate specificity were revealed by analysis of the reaction products of hydrolysis of a mixture of pectate lyase-generated delta 4,5-unsaturated oligogalacturonates of degree of polymerization 4-8. Whereas endopolygalacturonase I showed a strong preference for generating the delta 4,5-unsaturated dimer, with endopolygalacturonase II the delta 4,5-unsaturated trimer accumulated, indicating further differences in substrate specificity. For endopolygalacturonases C and E both the delta 4,5-unsaturated dimer and trimer were observed, although in different ratios.

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