A novel exo-glucanase gene (xeg5B) was isolated from a rumenal microbial metagenome, cloned, and expressed in E. coli. The 1548 bp gene coded for a protein of 516 amino acids, which assumed an (α/β)8 fold typical of glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5. The protein molecule consisted of a loop segment blocking one end of the active site, which potentially provided the enzyme with exo-acting property. The recombinant enzyme showed exclusive specificity towards xyloglucan and oligoxyloglucan substrates with no detectable activity on unsubstituted linear glucans, CMC, laminarin, and lichenan. The major end products of exhaustive hydrolysis were XX (tetrasaccharide) and XG (trisaccharide). The hydrolysis of tamarind xyloglucan followed the Michaelis-Menten kinetics, yielding Km and Vmax of 2.12±0.13 mg/ml and 0.17±0.01 mg/ml/min (37°C, pH 6.0), respectively.
Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.