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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Expression and characterization of a GH43 endo-arabinanase from Thermotoga thermarum

Hao Shi12, Huaihai Ding12, Yingjuan Huang12, Liangliang Wang12, Yu Zhang12, Xun Li12 and Fei Wang12*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China

2 Jiangsu Key Lab of Biomass-Based Green Fuels and Chemicals, Nanjing 210037, China

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BMC Biotechnology 2014, 14:35  doi:10.1186/1472-6750-14-35

Published: 30 April 2014



Arabinan is an important plant polysaccharide degraded mainly by two hydrolytic enzymes, endo-arabinanase and α-L-arabinofuranosidase. In this study, the characterization and application in arabinan degradation of an endo-arabinanase from Thermotoga thermarum were investigated.


The recombinant endo-arabinanase was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) and purified by heat treatment followed by purification on a nickel affinity column chromatography. The purified endo-arabinanase exhibited optimal activity at pH 6.5 and 75°C and its residual activity retained more than 80% of its initial activity after being incubated at 80°C for 2 h. The results showed that the endo-arabinanase was very effective for arabinan degradation at higher temperature. When linear arabinan was used as the substrate, the apparent Km and Vmax values were determined to be 12.3 ± 0.15 mg ml−1 and 1,052.1 ± 12.7 μmol ml−1 min−1, respectively (at pH 6.5, 75°C), and the calculated kcat value was 349.3 ± 4.2 s−1.


This work provides a useful endo-arabinanase with high thermostability andcatalytic efficiency, and these characteristics exhibit a great potential for enzymatic conversion of arabinan.

Arabinan; Arabinose; Endo-arabinanase; Thermotoga thermarum