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Gene. 1998 Apr 28;211(1):39-47.

Properties of exgS, a gene for a major subunit of the Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome.

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Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The nucleotide sequence of P70, one of the three major subunits of the Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome, has been determined. The gene designated as exgS (Genbank Accession No. U34793) consists of 2112 bp and encodes a protein containing 703 amino acids with a molecular mass of 77.7 kDa. ExgS has a putative signal peptide sequence of 32 amino acids. The N-terminal region is separated from the C-terminal region by a short-Pro-Thr-Pro linker. The C-terminal region of ExgS contains a duplicated sequence (DS), each sequence consisting of 22 amino acids. exgS, located 67 bp downstream of cbpA in the chromosome, is immediately upstream of a gene encoding a family 9 type endoglucanase that we have designated as EngH. This gene cluster to date consists of regA-cbpA-exgS-engH. Recombinant ExgS (rExgS) containing no signal peptide was expressed in E. coli. The rExgS actively digested several forms of cellulose, including Avicel, Sigmacell101, crystalline cellulose, and xylan, but not carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Cellotetraose was the smallest oligosaccharide substrate for rExgS. The enzymatic studies indicated that ExgS was an exoglucanase and had some properties similar to that of CelS from C. thermocellum and CelF from C.cellulolyticum. An exoglucanase has now been found to be a component of the C. cellulovorans cellulosome as well as the previously reported endoglucanases.

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