Exo-inulinases are versatile enzymes that have gained attention in recent years due to their ability to hydrolyze linear and branched polyfructose chains found in inulines. Agavin, a branched inulin, is found in Agave plant, the raw matter to produce tequila. Our group has isolated several microbial strains from agave bagasse, an agro-industrial residue from tequila production that increases yearly. Strain ISO3, identified as Kluyveromyces marxianus, showed a remarkable activity towards agavin, and from its fermentation liquor an inulinolytic enzyme (Inu-ISO3) was purified. The isolated enzyme is a glycosylated dimeric protein with a molecular mass of ~256 kDa, as determined by DLS and SEC. The enzyme has an isoelectric pH of 4.6 and has both inulinase and invertase activities with an I/S ratio (ratio of activity with agavin to activity with sucrose) of 1.39. The enzyme has temperature and pH optima of 50 °C and 5.5, respectively, and follows hyperbolic kinetics with agavin (kcat of 339 ± 27 s-1 and KM of 11.8 ± 1.5 mM). The remarkable activity of Inu-ISO3 on linear and branched inulin spotlights this enzyme as a potential player in the treatment of agricultural residua for the generation of added-value products.
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