Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(8):1085-1096. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4406 This issue
School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Insect β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidases with broad substrate-spectrum (IBS-Hex) are the homologues of human β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase A/B (HsHex A/ B). These enzymes are distributed in most insect species and vary in physiological roles. In this study, the gene encoding an IBS-Hex, OfHEX2, was cloned from the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis. Recombinant OfHex2 was expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified to homogeneity. By structure-based sequence alignment, three sequence segments with high diversity among IBS-Hexs were firstly concluded. Furthermore, the residue pair N423-R424/ D452-L453 important for the specificity of human β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase subunits α/β toward charged/ non-charged substrates was not conserved in OfHex2 and other IBS-Hexs. Unlike HsHex A, OfHex2 could not degrade charged substrates such as 4-methylumbelliferyl-6-sulfo-N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminide, ganglioside GM2 and peptidoglycan. OfHex2 showed a broad substrate-spectrum by hydrolyzing β1-2 linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamines from both α3 and α6 branches of biantennary N-glycan and β1-4 linked GlcNAc from chitooligosaccharides as well as β1-3 linked or β1-4 linked N-acetyl-D-galactosamine from oligosaccharides of glycolipids. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that the expression of OfHEX2 was up-regulated in the intermolt stages (both larva and pupa), and mainly occurred in the carcass rather than in the midgut during the feeding stage of fifth (final) instar larva. This study reported a novel IBS-Hex with specific biochemical properties, suggesting biodiversity of this class of enzymes.
Keywords: β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase, insect, glycoside hydrolase, N-glycan, Ostrinia furnacalis.