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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jan 31;272(5):2942-51.

Key residues in subsite F play a critical role in the activity of Pseudomonas fluorescens subspecies cellulosa xylanase A against xylooligosaccharides but not against highly polymeric substrates such as xylan.

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Department of Biological and Nutritional Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom.


In a previous study crystals of Pseudomonas fluorescens subspecies cellulosa xylanase A (XYLA) containing xylopentaose revealed that the terminal nonreducing end glycosidic bond of the oligosaccharide was adjacent to the catalytic residues of the enzyme, suggesting that the xylanase may have an exo-mode of action. However, a cluster of conserved residues in the substrate binding cleft indicated the presence of an additional subsite, designated subsite F. Analysis of the biochemical properties of XYLA revealed that the enzyme was a typical endo-beta1,4-xylanase, providing support for the existence of subsite F. The three-dimensional structure of four family 10 xylanases, including XYLA, revealed several highly conserved residues that are on the surface of the active site cleft. To investigate the role of some of these residues, appropriate mutations of XYLA were constructed, and the biochemical properties of the mutated enzymes were evaluated. N182A hydrolyzed xylotetraose to approximately equal molar quantities of xylotriose, xylobiose, and xylose, while native XYLA cleaved the substrate to primarily xylobiose. These data suggest that N182 is located at the C site of the enzyme. N126A and K47A were less active against xylan and aryl-beta-glycosides than native XYLA. The potential roles of Asn-126 and Lys-47 in the function of the catalytic residues are discussed. E43A and N44A, which are located in the F subsite of XYLA, retained full activity against xylan but were significantly less active than the native enzyme against oligosaccharides smaller than xyloseptaose. These data suggest that the primary role of the F subsite of XYLA is to prevent small oligosaccharides from forming nonproductive enzyme-substrate complexes.

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