Acetyl xylan esterase (EC 220.127.116.11) is a member of a set of enzymes required to depolymerize hemicellulose, especially xylan that is composed of a main chain of β-1,4-linked xylopyranoside residues decorated with acetyl side groups. Fibrobacter succinogenes S85 Axe6B (FSUAxe6B) is an acetyl xylan esterase encoded in the genome of this rumen bacterium. The enzyme is a modular protein comprised of an esterase domain, a carbohydratebinding module, and a region of unknown function. Sequences that are homologous to the region of unknown function are paralogously distributed, thus far, only in F. succinogenes. Therefore, the sequences were designated Fibrobacter succinogenes-specific paralogous module 1 (FPm-1). The FPm-1s are associated with at least 24 polypeptides in the genome of F. succinogenes S85. A bioinformatics search showed that most of the FPm-1-appended polypeptides are putative carbohydrate-active enzymes, suggesting a potential role in carbohydrate metabolism. Truncational analysis of FSUAxe6B, together with catalytic and substrate binding studies, has allowed us to delineate the functional modules in the polypeptide. The N-terminal half of FSUAxe6B harbors the activity that cleaves side chain acetyl groups from xylan-like substrates, and the binding of insoluble xylan was determined to originate from FPm-1. Site-directed mutagenesis studies of highly conserved active-site residues in the esterase domain suggested that the esterase activity is derived from a tetrad composed of Ser44, His273, Glu194, and Asp270, with both Glu194 and Asp270 functioning as helper acids, instead of a single carboxylate residue proposed to initiate catalysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology