Archives of microbiology

A new beta-galactosidase with a low temperature optimum isolated from the Antarctic Arthrobacter sp. 20B: gene cloning, purification and characterization.

PMID 19771412


A psychrotrophic bacterium producing a cold-adapted beta-galactosidase upon growth at low temperatures was classified as Arthrobacter sp. 20B. A genomic DNA library of strain 20B introduced into Escherichia coli TOP10F' and screening on X-Gal (5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside)-containing agar plates led to the isolation of beta-galactosidase gene. The beta-galactosidase gene (bgaS) encoding a protein of 1,053 amino acids, with a calculated molecular mass of 113,695 kDa. Analysis of the amino acid sequence of BgaS protein, deduced from the bgaS ORF, suggested that it is a member of the glycosyl hydrolase family 2. A native cold-adapted beta-galactosidase was purified to homogeneity and characterized. It is a homotetrameric enzyme, each subunit being approximately 116 kDa polypeptide as deduced from native and SDS-PAGE, respectively. The beta-galactosidase was optimally active at pH 6.0-8.0 and 25 degrees Celsius. P-nitrophenyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside (PNPG) is its preferred substrate (three times higher activity than for ONPG-o-nitrophenyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside). The Arthrobacter sp. 20B beta-galactosidase is activated by thiol compounds (53% rise in activity in the presence of 10 mM 2-mercaptoethanol), some metal ions (activity increased by 50% for Na(+), K(+) and by 11% for Mn(2+)) and inactivated by pCMB (4-chloro-mercuribenzoic acid) and heavy metal ions (Pb(2+), Zn(2+), Cu(2+)).