Author(s): Watanabe T, Oyanagi W, Suzuki K, Tanaka H
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Abstract Bacillus circulans WL-12, isolated as a yeast cell wall-lytic bacterium, secretes a variety of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes into culture medium. When chitinases of the bacterium were induced with chitin, six distinct chitinase molecules were detected in the culture supernatant. These chitinases (A1, A2, B1, B2, C, and D) showed the following distinct sizes and isoelectric points: Mr 74,000, pI 4.7 (A1); Mr 69,000, pI 4.5 (A2); Mr 38,000, pI 6.6 (B1); Mr 38,000, pI 5.9 (B2); Mr 39,000, pI 8.5 (C); and Mr 52,000, pI 5.2 (D). Among these chitinases, A1 and A2 had the highest colloidal-chitin-hydrolyzing activities. Chitinase A1 showed a strong affinity to insoluble substrate chitin. Purified chitinase A1 released predominantly chitobiose [(GlcNAc)2] and a trace amount of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) from colloidal chitin. N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis of chitinases A1 and A2 indicated that chitinase A2 was generated from chitinase A1, presumably by proteolytic removal of a C-terminal portion of chitinase A1. Since chitinase A2 did not have the ability to bind to chitin, the importance of the C-terminal region of chitinase A1 to the strong affinity of chitinase A1 to substrate chitin was suggested. Strong affinity of the chitinase seemed to be required for complete degradation of insoluble substrate chitin. From these results, it was concluded that chitinase A1 is the key enzyme in the chitinase system of this bacterium.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology