Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Molecular characterization and heterologous expression of a Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous α-glucosidase with potential for prebiotics production.

PMID 26615395


Basidiomycetous yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous expresses an α-glucosidase with strong transglycosylation activity producing prebiotic sugars such as panose and an unusual tetrasaccharides mixture including α-(1-6) bonds as major products, which makes it of biotechnological interest. Initial analysis pointed to a homodimeric protein of 60 kDa subunit as responsible for this activity. In this study, the gene Xd-AlphaGlu was characterized. The 4131-bp-long gene is interrupted by 13 short introns and encodes a protein of 990 amino acids (Xd-AlphaGlu). The N-terminal sequence of the previously detected 60 kDa protein resides in this larger protein at residues 583-602. Functionality of the gene was proved in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which produced a protein of about 130 kDa containing Xd-AlphaGlu sequences. All properties of the heterologously expressed protein, including thermal and pH profiles, activity on different substrates, and ability to produce prebiotic sugars were similar to that of the α-glucosidase produced in X. dendrorhous. No activity was detected in S. cerevisiae containing exclusively the 1256-bp from gene Xd-AlphaGlu that would encode synthesis of the 60 kDa protein previously detected. Data were compatible with an active monomeric α-glucosidase of 990 amino acids and an inactive hydrolysis product of 60 kDa. Protein Xd-AlphaGlu contained most of the elements characteristic of α-glucosidases included in the glycoside hydrolases family GH31 and its structural model based on the homologous human maltase-glucoamylase was obtained. Remarkably, the Xd-AlphaGlu C-terminal domain presents an unusually long 115-residue insertion that could be involved in this enzyme's activity against long-size substrates such as maltoheptaose and soluble starch.

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Isomaltose, ~98% (TLC)
Maltoheptaose, ≥60% (HPLC)