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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2004 May;27(3):279-85.

Hydrolysis of oligofructoses by the recombinant beta-fructofuranosidase from Bifidobacterium lactis.

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Department of Dairy Science and Technology, Instituto del Frío (CSIC), Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain.


The ability of the beta-fructofuranosidase (EC from Bifidobacterium lactis DSM 10140T to cleave a variety of fructooligosaccharides was characterised. We identified its gene on a cloned chromosomal DNA fragment by sequence similarity (69% identity) to the putative CscA protein encoded in the Bifidobacterium longum genome. The deduced amino acid sequence of 532 residues (59.4 kDa) appeared to be identical to the beta-fructofuranosidase from the same strain recently described by Ehrmann et al. (Curr. Microbiol. 2003, 46, 391-397). However, the characterisation of the heterologously expressed enzyme showed several discrepancies to the referred study. First, the B. lactis beta-fructofuranosidase gene was found to have 41% identity with CscA from E. coli in contrast to the 16% reported, therefore it was assigned to as CscA protein instead of BfrA. Second, we observed only low activity of the enzyme towards sucrose (6%) instead of the 100% previously reported. Instead, we measured highest activity (100%) of the enzyme with the oligofructose Raftilose as a substrate compared with the inulin of low degree of polymerisation Raftiline LS (29%) and the highly polymerised Raftiline HP (10%). Altogether, the enzyme showed high affinity to terminal beta(2-1) glycosyl linkages between fructose moieties. The Km values obtained for Raftilose, Raftiline LS and sucrose were 0.12, 7.08 and 8.37 mM, respectively, and V(max) values for the conversion to fructose were calculated to be 5, 21 and 17 micromol/min per mg of protein, respectively. Growth of B. lactis was supported by fructans of low degree of polymerisation (Raftilose and Raftiline LS), whereas we observed no growth with highly polymerised inulin (Raftiline HP).

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