Cloning and characterization of a novel cellobiase gene, cba3, encoding the first known β-glucosidase of glycoside hydrolase family 1 of Cellulomonas biazotea.

Research paper by Anthony K N AK Chan, Yule Y YY Wang, K L KL Ng, Zhibiao Z Fu, W K R WK Wong

Indexed on: 06 Dec '11Published on: 06 Dec '11Published in: Gene


A novel cellobiase gene, designated cba3, was cloned from Cellulomonas biazotea. Although cellobiase genes of C. biazotea were previously cloned, published and/or patented, they encoded β-glucosidases all belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 3 (GH3); the new Cba3 cellobiase was identified to be a glycoside hydrolase family 1 (GH1) member, which represents the first discovered GH1 β-glucosidase of C. biazotea. Escherichia coli transformants expressing recombinant Cba3 were shown to grow readily in minimal media using cellobiose as the sole carbon source, supporting the conclusion that Cba3 is a genuine cellobiase. The full-length cba3 gene was revealed by sequencing to be 1344 bp long. Cba3 deletants lacking either the N-terminal 10 amino acids or the C-terminal 10 residues were found to be biologically inactive, supporting the importance of both ends in catalysis. Like other GH1 β-glucosidases, Cba3 was shown to contain the highly conserved NEP and ENG motifs, which are crucial for enzymatic activity. Despite lacking a classical N-terminal signal peptide, Cba3 was demonstrated to be a secretory protein. The findings that Cba3 is a cellobiase, and that it was expressed well as an extracellular protein in E. coli, support the potential of Cba3 for use with other cellulases in the hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass.