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Eur J Biochem. 2002 Oct;269(20):4985-93.

The beta-1,4-endogalactanase A gene from Aspergillus niger is specifically induced on arabinose and galacturonic acid and plays an important role in the degradation of pectic hairy regions.

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Molecular Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms and Food Chemistry, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The Aspergillus nigerbeta-1,4-endogalactanase encoding gene (galA) was cloned and characterized. The expression of galA in A. niger was only detected in the presence of sugar beet pectin, d-galacturonic acid and l-arabinose, suggesting that galA is coregulated with both the pectinolytic genes as well as the arabinanolytic genes. The corresponding enzyme, endogalactanase A (GALA), contains both active site residues identified previously for the Pseudomonas fluorescensbeta-1,4-endogalactanase. The galA gene was overexpressed to facilitate purification of GALA. The enzyme has a molecular mass of 48.5 kDa and a pH optimum between 4 and 4.5. Incubations of arabinogalactans of potato, onion and soy with GALA resulted initially in the release of d-galactotriose and d-galactotetraose, whereas prolonged incubation resulted in d-galactose and d-galactobiose, predominantly. MALDI-TOF analysis revealed the release of l-arabinose substituted d-galacto-oligosaccharides from soy arabinogalactan. This is the first report of the ability of a beta-1,4-endogalactanase to release substituted d-galacto-oligosaccharides. GALA was not active towards d-galacto-oligosaccharides that were substituted with d-glucose at the reducing end.

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