High-level production of recombinant fungal endo-β-1,4-xylanase in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris

Jean Guy Berrin, Gary Williamson, Antoine Puigserver, Jean Claude Chaix, W. Russell McLauchlan, Nathalie Juge

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69 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient production of recombinant Aspergillus niger family 11 1,4-β-xylanase was achieved in Pichia pastoris. The cDNA-encoding XylA fused to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae invertase signal peptide was placed under the control of the P. pastoris AOX1 promoter. Secretion yields up to 60 mg/liter were obtained in synthetic medium. The recombinant XylA was purified to homogeneity using a one-step purification protocol and found to be identical to the enzyme overexpressed in A. niger with respect to size, pI, and immunoreactivity. N-terminal sequence analysis of the recombinant protein indicated that the S. cerevisiae signal peptide was correctly processed in P. pastoris. The purified protein has a molecular weight of 19,893 Da, in excellent agreement with the calculated mass, and appears as one single band on isoelectric focusing with pI value around 3.5. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of one major isoform produced by P. pastoris and the absence of glycosylation. The recombinant enzyme was further characterized in terms of specific activity, pH profile, kinetic parameters, and thermostability toward birchwood xylan as substrate and compared with the xylanase purified from A. niger. Both enzymes exhibit a pH optimum at 3.5 and maximal activity at 50 °C. The enzyme activity follows normal Michaelis-Menten kinetics with K(m) and V(max) values similar for both enzymes. P. pastoris produced recombinant xylanase in high yields that can be obtained readily as a single form. A. niger xylanase is the first microbial xylanase efficiently secreted and correctly processed by P. pastoris. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalProtein Expression and Purification
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspergillus niger
  • Family 11 glycosyl hydrolases
  • Heterologous expression
  • Secretion
  • Xylan

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