Biochemical and kinetic characterization of the multifunctional β-glucosidase/β-xylosidase/α-arabinosidase, Bgxa1


Gruninger, R.J., Gong, X., Forster, R.J., McAllister, T.A. (2014). Biochemical and kinetic characterization of the multifunctional β-glucosidase/β-xylosidase/α-arabinosidase, Bgxa1. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, [online] 98(7), 3003-3012.


Functional screening of a metagenomic library constructed with DNA extracted from the rumen contents of a grass/hay-fed dairy cow identified a protein, β-glucosidase/β-xylosidase/α-arabinosidase gene (Bgxa1), with high levels of β-glucosidase activity. Purified Bgxa1 was highly active against p-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucopyranoside (pNPG), cellobiose, p-nitrophenyl-β-d-xylopyranoside (pNPX) and p-nitrophenyl-α-d- arabinofuranoside (pNPAf), suggesting it is a multifunctional β-glucosidase/β-xylosidase/α-arabinosidase. Kinetic analysis of the protein indicated that Bgxa1 has the greatest catalytic activity against pNPG followed by pNPAf and pNPX, respectively. The catalytic efficiency of β-glucosidase activity was 100× greater than β-xylosidase or α-arabinosidase. The pH and temperature optima for the hydrolysis of selected substrates also differed considerably with optima of pH 6.0/45 °C and pH 8.5/40 °C for pNPG and pNPX, respectively. The pH dependence of pNPAf hydrolysis displayed a bimodal distribution with maxima at both pH 6.5 and pH 8.5. The enzyme exhibited substrate-dependent responses to changes in ionic strength. Bgxa1 was highly stable over a broad pH range retaining at least 70 % of its relative catalytic activity from pH 5.0-10.0 with pNPG as a substrate. Homology modelling was employed to probe the structural basis of the unique specificity of Bgxa1 and revealed the deletion of the PA14 domain and insertions in loops adjacent to the active site. This domain has been found to be an important determinant in the substrate specificity of proteins related to Bgxa1. It is postulated that these indels are, in part, responsible for the multifunctional activity of Bgxa1. Bgxa1 acted synergistically with endoxylanase (Xyn10N18) when incubated with birchwood xylan, increasing the release of reducing sugars by 168 % as compared to Xyn10N18 alone. Examination of Bgxa1 and Xyn10N18 synergy with a cellulase for the saccharification of alkali-treated straw revealed that synergism among the three enzymes enhanced sugar release by 180 % as compared to cellulase alone. Our results suggest that Bgxa1 has a number of properties that make it an interesting candidate for the saccharification of lignocellulosic material. © 2013 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.