Biochemical properties of GH94 cellodextrin phosphorylase THA_1941 from a thermophilic eubacterium Thermosipho africanus TCF52B with cellobiose phosphorylase activity
A hypothetic gene (THA_1941) encoding a putative cellobiose phosphorylase (CBP) from Thermosipho africanus TCF52B has very low amino acid identities (less than 12%) to all known GH94 enzymes. This gene was cloned and over-expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). The recombinant protein was hypothesized to be a CBP enzyme and it showed an optimum temperature of 75 degrees C and an optimum pH of 7.5. Beyond its CBP activity, this enzyme can use cellobiose and long-chain cellodextrins with a degree of polymerization of greater than two as a glucose acceptor, releasing phosphate from glucose 1-phosphate. The catalytic efficiencies (k(cat)/K-m) indicated that cellotetraose and cellopentaose were the best substrates for the phosphorolytic and reverse synthetic reactions, respectively. These results suggested that this enzyme was the first enzyme having both cellodextrin and cellobiose phosphorylases activities. Because it preferred cellobiose and cellodextrins to glucose in the synthetic direction, it was categorized as a cellodextrin phosphorylase (CDP). Due to its unique ability of the reverse synthetic reaction, this enzyme could be a potential catalyst for the synthesis of various oligosaccharides. The speculative function of this CDP in the carbohydrate metabolism of T. africanus TCF52B was also discussed.