The faea genes from Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus tubingensis encode ferulic acid esterases involved in degradation of complex cell wall polysaccharides

R. P. De Vries, B. Michelsen, C. H. Poulsen, P. A. Kroon, R. H.H. Van Den Heuvel, C. B. Faulds, G. Williamson, J. P.T.W. Van Den Hombergh, J. Visser

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Abstract

We report the cloning and characterization of a gene encoding a ferulic acid esterase, faeA, from Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus tubingensis. The A. niger and A. tubingensis genes have a high degree of sequence identity and contain one conserved intron. The gene product, FAEA, was overexpressed in wild-type A. tubingensis and a protease-deficient A. niger mutant. Overexpression of both genes in wild-type A. tubingensis and an A. niger protease-deficient mutant showed that the A. tubingensis gene product is more sensitive to degradation than the equivalent gene product from A. niger. FAEA from A. niger was identical to A. niger FAE-III (C. B. Faulds and G. Williamson, Microbiology, 140:779-787, 1994), as assessed by molecular mass, pH and temperature optima, pI, N-terminal sequence, and activity on methyl ferulate. The faeA gene was induced by growth on wheat arabinoxylan and sugar beet pectin, and its gene product (FAEA) released ferulic acid from wheat arabinoxylan. The rate of release was enhanced by the presence of a xylanase. FAEA also hydrolyzed smaller amounts of ferulic acid from sugar beet pectin, but the rate was hardly affected by addition of an endo-pectin lyase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4638-4644
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume63
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997

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