Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 143–151 | Cite as

Screening of enzymatic activities for the depolymerisation of the marine bacterial exopolysaccharide HE800

  • Coraline Rigouin
  • Christine Delbarre-Ladrat
  • Jacqueline Ratiskol
  • Corinne Sinquin
  • Sylvia Colliec-Jouault
  • Michel Dion
Biotechnologically relevant enzymes and proteins


The exopolysaccharide (EPS) HE800 is a marine-derived polysaccharide (from 8 × 105 to 1.5 × 106 g mol−1) produced by Vibrio diabolicus and displaying original structural features close to those of glycosaminoglycans. In order to confer new biological activities to the EPS HE800 or to improve them, structural modifications need to be performed. In particular, depolymerisation is required to generate low-molecular-weight derivatives. To circumvent the use of chemical methods that lack specificity and reproducibility, enzymes able to perform such reaction are sought. This study reports the screening for enzymes capable of depolymerising the EPS HE800. A large diversity of enzyme sources has been studied: commercially available glycoside hydrolases with broad substrate specificity, lyases, and proteases as well as growing microorganisms. Interestingly, we found that the genus Enterococcus and, more particularly, the strain Enterococcus faecalis were able to depolymerise the EPS HE800. Partial characterization of the enzymatic activity gives evidence for a random and incomplete depolymerisation pattern that yields low-molecular-weight products of 40,000 g mol−1. Genomic analysis and activity assays allowed the identification of a relevant open reading frame (ORF) which encodes an endo-N-acetyl-galactosaminidase. This study establishes the foundation for the development of an enzymatic depolymerisation process.


Polysaccharide Enzymatic depolymerisation Low-molecular-weight derivatives Enterococcus faecalis Endo-N-acetyl-galactosaminidase 



The authors thank Dr. Jocelyne Caillon from Nantes Hospital who provided us the Enterococcus faecalis SP1 strain. This work was made possible through Coraline Rigouin’s fellowship from Ifremer and “Région Pays de la Loire”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Coraline Rigouin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Christine Delbarre-Ladrat
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Ratiskol
    • 1
  • Corinne Sinquin
    • 1
  • Sylvia Colliec-Jouault
    • 1
  • Michel Dion
    • 2
  1. 1.IfremerLaboratoire de Biotechnologie et Molécules MarinesNantes Cedex 3France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biocatalyse, UMR-CNRS 6204, Biotechnologie, Biocatalyse, Bioregulation, Faculté des Sciences et des TechniquesUniversité de NantesNantes Cedex 3France
  3. 3.Department of Immunology and MicrobiologyRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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