Structural basis of exo-β-mannanase activity in the GH2 family
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The classical microbial strategy for depolymerization of β-mannan-containing polysaccharides involves the synergistic action of at least two enzymes, endo-1,4-β-mannanases and β-mannosidases. In this work, we describe the first exo-β-mannanase from the GH2 family, isolated from Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri(XacMan2A), which can efficiently hydrolyze both manno-oligosaccharides (MOS) and β-mannan into mannose. It represents a valuable process simplification in the microbial carbon uptake that could be of potential industrial interest. Biochemical assays revealed a progressive increase in the hydrolysis rates from mannobiose to mannohexaose, which distinguishes XacMan2A from the known GH2 β-mannosidases. Crystallographic analysis indicates that the active site topology of XacMan2A underwent profound structural changes at the positive-subsite region, by the removal of the physical barrier canonically observed in GH2 β-mannosidases, generating a more open and accessible active site with additional productive positive subsites. Besides that, XacMan2A contains two residue substitutions in relation to typical GH2 β-mannosidases, Gly439 and Gly556,which alter the active site volume and are essential to its mode of action. Interestingly, the only other mechanistically characterized mannose-releasing exo-β-mannanase so far is from GH5 family and its mode of action was attributed to the emergence of a blocking loop at the negative-subsite region of a cleft-like active site, whereas in XacMan2A, the same activity can be explained by the removal of steric barriers at the positive-subsite region in an originally pocket-like active site. Therefore, the GH2 exo-β-mannanase represents a distinct molecular route to this rare activity, expanding our knowledge about functional convergence mechanisms in Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZymes).