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Genetic evidence for a defective xylan degradation pathway in Lactococcus lactis

Erlandson, K.A., Delamarre, S.C., Batt, C.A.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2001 v.67 no.4 pp. 1445-1452
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, xylan, xylose, carbohydrate metabolism, isomerases, genes, nucleotide sequences, amino acid sequences, bacterial proteins, xylan 1,4-beta-xylosidase, open reading frames, gene expression, messenger RNA, enzyme activity, active transport, aldose 1-epimerase
Genetic and biochemical evidence for a defective xylan degradation pathway was found linked to the xylose operon in three lactococcal strains, Lactococcus lactis 210, L. lactis IO-1, and L. lactis NRRL B-4449. Immediately downstream of the xylulose kinase gene (xylB) (K. A. Erlandson, J.-H. Park, W. El Khal, H.-H. Kao, P. Basaran, S. Brydges, and C. A. Batt, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66:3974-3980, 1999) are two open reading frames encoding a mutarotase (xylM) and a xyloside transporter (xynT) and a partial open reading frame encoding a beta-xylosidase (xynB). These are functions previously unreported for lactococci or lactobacilli. The mutarotase activity of the putative xylM gene product was confirmed by overexpression of the L. lactis enzyme in Escherichia coli and purification of recombinant XylM. We hypothesize that the mutarotase links xylan degradation to xylose metabolism due to the anomeric preference of xylose isomerase. In addition, Northern hybridization experiments suggested that the xylM and xynTB genes are cotranscribed with the xylRAB genes, responsible for xylose metabolism. Although none of the three strains appeared to metabolize xylan or xylobiose, they exhibited xylosidase activity, and L. lactis IO-1 and L. lactis NRRL B-4449 had functional mutarotases.