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Expression and Characterization of Fifteen Rhizopus oryzae 99-880 Polygalacturonase Enzymes in Pichia pastoris

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Polygalacturonase (PG) enzymes hydrolyze the long polygalacturonic acid chains found in the smooth regions of pectin. Interest in this enzyme class continues due to their ability to macerate tissues of economically important crops and their use in a number of industrial processes. Rhizopus oryzae has a large PG gene family with 15 of 18 genes encoding unique active enzymes. The PG enzymes, 12 endo-PG and 3 exo-galacturonases, were expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified enabling biochemical characterization to gain insight into the maintenance of this large gene family within the Rhizopus genome. The 15 PG enzymes have a pH optima ranging from 4.0 to 5.0. Temperature optima of the 15 PG enzymes vary from 30 to 40°C. While the pH and temperature optima do little to separate the enzymes, the specific activity of the enzymes is highly variable ranging from over 200 to less than 1 μmol/min/mg. A general pattern related to the groupings found in the phylogentic tree was visible with the group containing the exo-PG enzymes demonstrating the lowest specific activity. Finally, the progress curves of the PG enzymes, contained within the phylogenetic group that includes the exo-PG enzymes, acting on trigalacturonic acid lend additional support to the idea that the ancestral form of PG in Rhizopus is endolytic and exolytic function evolved later.
Jeffrey A. Mertens , Michael J. Bowman
Journal title changed from 'Curr Microbiol'
Current microbiology 2011 4 v.62 no.4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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