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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1991 Apr;57(4):1227-34.

Sequencing and expression of the Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens xylB gene encoding a novel bifunctional protein with beta-D-xylosidase and alpha-L-arabinofuranosidase activities.

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Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611.


A single gene (xylB) encoding both beta-D-xylosidase (EC and alpha-L-arabinofuranosidase (EC activities was identified and sequenced from the ruminal bacterium Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens. The xylB gene consists of a 1.551-bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding 517 amino acids. A subclone containing a 1.843-bp DNA fragment retained both enzymatic activities. Insertion of a 10-bp NotI linker into the EcoRV site within the central region of this ORF abolished both activities. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of cytoplasmic proteins from recombinant Escherichia coli confirmed the presence of a 60,000-molecular-weight protein in active subclones and the absence of this protein in subclones lacking activity. With p-nitrophenyl-beta-D-xylopyranoside and p-nitrophenyl-alpha-L-arabinofuranoside as substrates, the specific activity of arabinosidase was found to be approximately 1.6-fold higher than that of xylosidase. The deduced amino acid sequence of the xylB gene product did not exhibit a high degree of identity with other xylan-degrading enzymes or glycosidases. The xylB gene was located between two incomplete ORFs within the 4,200-bp region which was sequenced. No sequences resembling terminators were found within this region, and these three genes are proposed to be part of a single operon. Based on comparison with other glycosidases, a conserved region was identified in the carboxyl end of the translated xylB gene which is similar to that of glucoamylase from Aspergillus niger.

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