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J Biol Chem. 2008 Feb 22;283(8):5178-87. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

LysM domains from Pteris ryukyuensis chitinase-A: a stability study and characterization of the chitin-binding site.

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Division of Plant Sciences, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


The LysM domain probably binds peptidoglycans, but how it does so has yet to be described. For this report, we measured the thermal stabilities of recombinant LysM domains derived from Pteris ryukyuensis chitinase-A (PrChi-A) and monitored their binding to N-acetylglucosamine oligomers ((GlcNAc)n) using differential scanning calorimetry, isothermal titration calorimetry, and NMR spectroscopy. We thereby characterized certain of the domains' functional and structural features. We observed that the domains are very resistant to thermal denaturation and that this resistance depends on the presence of disulfide bonds. We also show that the stoichiometry of (GlcNAc)n/LysM domain binding is 1:1. (GlcNAc)5 titration experiments, monitored by NMR spectroscopy, allowed us to identify the domain residues that are critical for (GlcNAc)5 binding. The binding site is a shallow groove formed by the N-terminal part of helix 1, the loop between strand 1 and helix 1, the C-terminal part of helix 2, and the loop between helix 2 and strand 2. Furthermore, mutagenesis experiments reiterate the critical involvement of Tyr72 in (GlcNAc)n/LysM domain binding. Ours is the first report describing the physical structure of a LysM oligosaccharide-binding site based on experimental data.

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