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Ulvan lyase from Formosa agariphila and its applicability in depolymerisation of ulvan extracted from three different Ulva species

Journal article
Authors V. R. Konasani
Chunsheng Jin
Niclas G. Karlsson
E. Albers
Published in Algal Research
Volume 36
Pages 106-114
ISSN 2211-9264
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 106-114
Language en
Subject categories Organic Chemistry


Members of green macroalgae cause green tides in eutrophicated coastal waters. These green tides pose an environmental issue and an economic burden on coastal municipalities. The biomass from these green tides has a potential to be used as feedstock in biorefinery due to the content of interesting biomacromolecules. Ulvan, an anionic water-soluble polysaccharide, is one of such components, and its depolymerisation to high-value oligosaccharides or fermentable monosaccharides would bring value to green tide biomass which is otherwise left to decompose. However, only a few ulvan depolymerising enzymes are studied to date. Ulvan lyases depolymerise ulvan, via the beta-elimination mechanism, leading to release of oligosaccharides with an unsaturated 4-deoxy-L-threo-hex-4-enopyranosiduronic acid at the non-reducing end. In this study, we have identified the presence of two different domains, a catalytic and a non-catalytic, in a putative ulvan lyase from Formosa agariphila KMM 3901. We overexpressed, purified, and biochemically characterised the full-length ulvan lyase, which was found to be most active at a temperature of 45 degrees C and pH 8.5. It exhibited high specificity for ulvan and did not degrade heparan sulphate, chondroitin sulphate, alginate, pectin or xanthan. Detailed analyses of end products of the enzymatic degradation of ulvan using H-1 NMR and LC-MS revealed a disaccharide with an unsaturated uronic acid (Delta) linked to 3-sulphated rhamnose (Rha3S), trisaccharide with xylose (Xyl) flanked by Rha3S (Rha3S-Xyl-Rha3S), tetrasaccharide with an unsaturated uronic acid at the non-reducing end (Delta Rha3S-Xyl-Rha3S) and pentasaccharides (Rha3S-Xyl-Rha3S-Xyl-Rha3S and branched Delta Rha3S-Xyl-(Delta)Rha3S) as the principal end products. We also found that the catalytic domain that lacks the non-catalytic carbohydrate binding module exhibited higher affinity for the soluble ulvan and efficiently depolymerised it. This study reveals the characteristics of the endolytic ulvan lyase, which is a member of the ulvan utilisation loci in Formosa, and points towards the potential ulvan depolymerisation applications in Ulva biorefinery.

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