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Eur J Biochem. 1990 Jan 26;187(2):321-8.

Thermostable beta-galactosidase from the archaebacterium Sulfolobus solfataricus. Purification and properties.

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Istituto di Biochimica delle Proteine ed Enzimologia, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Napoli, Italia.


A thermophilic and thermostable beta-galactosidase activity was purified to homogeneity from crude extracts of the archaebacterium Sulfolobus solfataricus, by a procedure including ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. The homogeneous enzyme had a specific activity of 116.4 units/mg at 75 degrees C with o-nitrophenyl beta-galactopyranoside as substrate. Molecular mass studies demonstrated that the S. solfataricus beta-galactosidase was a tetramer of 240 +/- 8 kDa composed of similar or identical subunits. Comparison of the amino acid composition of beta-galactosidase from S. solfataricus with that from Escherichia coli revealed a lower cysteine content and a lower Arg/Lys ratio in the thermophilic enzyme. A rabbit serum, raised against the homogeneous enzyme did not cross-react with beta-galactosidase from E. coli. The enzyme, characterized for its reaction requirements and kinetic properties, showed a thermostability and thermophilicity notably greater than those reported for beta-galactosidases from other mesophilic and thermophilic sources.

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