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J Biol Chem. 1998 May 1;273(18):11134-43.

Substrate binding and catalytic mechanism of a barley beta-D-Glucosidase/(1,4)-beta-D-glucan exohydrolase.

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Department of Plant Science, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia.


A beta-glucosidase, designated isoenzyme betaII, from germinated barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) hydrolyzes aryl-beta-glucosides and shares a high level of amino acid sequence similarity with beta-glucosidases of diverse origin. It releases glucose from the non-reducing termini of cellodextrins with catalytic efficiency factors, kcat/Km, that increase approximately 9-fold as the degree of polymerization of these substrates increases from 2 to 6. Thus, the enzyme has a specificity and action pattern characteristic of both beta-glucosidases (EC and the polysaccharide exohydrolase, (1,4)-beta-glucan glucohydrolase (EC At high concentrations (100 mM) of 4-nitrophenyl beta-glucoside, beta-glucosidase isoenzyme betaII catalyzes glycosyl transfer reactions, which generate 4-nitrophenyl-beta-laminaribioside, -cellobioside, and -gentiobioside. Subsite mapping with cellooligosaccharides indicates that the barley beta-glucosidase isoenzyme betaII has six substrate-binding subsites, each of which binds an individual beta-glucosyl residue. Amino acid residues Glu181 and Glu391 are identified as the probable catalytic acid and catalytic nucleophile, respectively. The enzyme is a family 1 glycoside hydrolase that is likely to adopt a (beta/alpha)8 barrel fold and in which the catalytic amino acid residues appear to be located at the bottom of a funnel-shaped pocket in the enzyme.

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