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Insights into the molecular determinants of substrate specificity in glycoside hydrolase family 5 revealed by the crystal structure and kinetics of Cellvibrio mixtus mannosidase 5A

Lookup NU author(s): Gavin Pell, Dr Louise Tailford, Emeritus Professor Harry Gilbert


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The enzymatic hydrolysis of the glycosidic bond is central to numerous biological processes. Glycoside hydrolases, which catalyze these reactions, are grouped into families based on primary sequence similarities. One of the largest glycoside hydrolase families is glycoside hydrolase family 5 (GH5), which contains primarily endo-acting enzymes that hydrolyze β-mannans and β-glucans. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and three-dimensional structure of the Cellvibrio mixtus GH5 β-mannosidase (CmMan5A). This enzyme releases mannose from the nonreducing end of mannooligosaccharides and polysaccharides, an activity not previously observed in this enzyme family. CmMan5A contains a single glycone (-1) and two aglycone (+1 and +2) sugar-binding subsites. The -1 subsite displays absolute specificity for mannose, whereas the +1 subsite does not accommodate galactosyl side chains but will bind weakly to glucose. The +2 subsite is able to bind to decorated mannose residues. CmMan5A displays similar activity against crystalline and amorphous mannans, a property rarely attributed to glycoside hydrolases. The 1.5 Å crystal structure reveals that CmMan5A adopts a (β/α)8 barrel fold, and superimposition with GH5 endomannanases shows that dramatic differences in the length of three loops modify the active center accessibility and thus modulate the specificity from endo to exo. The most striking and significant difference is the extended loop between strand β8 and helix α8 comprising residues 378-412. This insertion forms a "double" steric barrier, formed by two short β-strands that function to "block" the substrate binding cleft at the edge of the -1 subsite forming the "exo" active center topology of CmMan5A.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dias FMV, Vincent F, Pell G, Prates JAM, Centeno MSJ, Tailford LE, Ferreira LMA, Fontes CMGA, Davies GJ, Gilbert HJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2004

Volume: 279

Issue: 24

Pages: 25517-25526

ISSN (print): 0021-9258

ISSN (electronic): 1083-351X

Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M401647200

PubMed id: 15014076


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Funder referenceFunder name
BBS/B/05974Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
B20376Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council