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Mode of Action of a Family 75 Chitosanase from Streptomyces avermitilis

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journal contribution
posted on 11.06.2012, 00:00 by Ellinor B. Heggset, Tina R. Tuveng, Ingunn A. Hoell, Zhanliang Liu, Vincent G. H. Eijsink, Kjell M. Vårum
Chitooligosaccharides (CHOS) are oligomers composed of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine with several interesting bioactivities that can be produced from enzymatic cleavage of chitosans. By controlling the degree of acetylation of the substrate chitosan, the enzyme, and the extent of enzyme degradation, CHOS preparations with limited variation in length and sequence can be produced. We here report on the degradation of chitosans with a novel family 75 chitosanase, SaCsn75A from Streptomyces avermitilis. By characterizing the CHOS preparations, we have obtained insight into the mode of action and subsite specificities of the enzyme. The degradation of a fully deacetylated and a 31% acetylated chitosan revealed that the enzyme degrade these substrates according to a nonprocessive, endo mode of action. With the 31% acetylated chitosan as substrate, the kinetics of the degradation showed an initial rapid phase, followed by a second slower phase. In the initial faster phase, an acetylated unit (A) is productively bound in subsite −1, whereas deacetylated units (D) are bound in the −2 subsite and the +1 subsite. In the slower second phase, D-units bind productively in the −1 subsite, probably with both acetylated and deacetylated units in the −2 subsite, but still with an absolute preference for deacetylated units in the +1 subsite. CHOS produced in the initial phase are composed of deacetylated units with an acetylated reducing end. In the slower second phase, higher amounts of low DP fully deacetylated oligomers (dimer and trimer) are produced, while the higher DP oligomers are dominated by compounds with acetylated reducing ends containing increasing amounts of internal acetylated units. The degradation of chitosans with varying degrees of acetylation to maximum extents of degradation showed that increasingly longer oligomers are produced with increasing degree of acetylation, and that the longer oligomers contain sequences of consecutive acetylated units interspaced by single deacetylated units. The catalytic properties of SaCsn75A differ from the properties of a previously characterized family 46 chitosanase from S. coelicolor (ScCsn46A).