Purification and biochemical properties of a thermostable xylose-tolerant β-D-xylosidase from Scytalidium thermophilum

  • Fabiana Fonseca Zanoelo
  • Maria de Lourdes Teixeira de Moraes Polizeli
  • Héctor Francisco Terenzi
  • João Atílio Jorge
Original Paper


The thermophilic fungus Scytalidium thermophilum produced large amounts of periplasmic β-D-xylosidase activity when grown on xylan as carbon source. The presence of glucose in the fresh culture medium drastically reduced the level of β-D-xylosidase activity, while cycloheximide prevented induction of the enzyme by xylan. The mycelial β-xylosidase induced by xylan was purified using a procedure that included heating at 50°C, ammonium sulfate fractioning (30–75%), and chromatography on Sephadex G-100 and DEAE-Sephadex A-50. The purified β-D-xylosidase is a monomer with an estimated molecular mass of 45 kDa (SDS-PAGE) or 38 kDa (gel filtration). The enzyme is a neutral protein (pI 7.1), with a carbohydrate content of 12% and optima of temperature and pH of 60°C and 5.0, respectively. β-D-Xylosidase activity is strongly stimulated and protected against heat inactivation by calcium ions. In the absence of substrate, the enzyme is stable for 1 h at 60°C and has half-lives of 11 and 30 min at 65°C in the absence or presence of calcium, respectively. The purified β-D-xylosidase hydrolyzed p-nitrophenol-β-D-xylopyranoside and p-nitrophenol-β-D-glucopyranoside, exhibiting apparent Km and Vmax values of 1.3 mM, 88 μmol min−1 protein−1 and 0.5 mM, 20 μmol min−1 protein−1, respectively. The purified enzyme hydrolyzed xylobiose, xylotriose, and xylotetraose, and is therefore a true β-D-xylosidase. Enzyme activity was completely insensitive to xylose, which inhibits most β-xylosidases, at concentrations up to 200 mM. Its thermal stability and high xylose tolerance qualify this enzyme for industrial applications. The high tolerance of S. thermophilum β-xylosidase to xylose inhibition is a positive characteristic that distinguishes this enzyme from all others described in the literature.


β-D-Xylosidase Xylanolytic activity Scytalidium thermophilum Thermostability 



This work was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, FAPESP. HFT, JAJ and MLTMP are research fellows of CNPq. FFZ was a recipient of support of FAPESP. This work is part of a Master Thesis submitted by FFZ to the Biology Department of the FFCLRP-University of São Paulo. We thank Dr. RPM Furriel for a critical reading of the manuscript and Mauricio de Oliveira for technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabiana Fonseca Zanoelo
    • 1
  • Maria de Lourdes Teixeira de Moraes Polizeli
    • 1
  • Héctor Francisco Terenzi
    • 1
  • João Atílio Jorge
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão PretoUniversidade de São PauloRibeirão PretoBrasil

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