Analysis of the substrate specificity of α-L-arabinofuranosidases by DNA sequencer-aided fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis

Maria João Maurício da Fonseca, Edita Jurak, Kim Kataja, Emma R. Master, Jean Guy Berrin, Ingeborg Stals, Tom Desmet, Anita Van Landschoot, Yves Briers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Carbohydrate-active enzyme discovery is often not accompanied by experimental validation, demonstrating the need for techniques to analyze substrate specificities of carbohydrate-active enzymes in an efficient manner. DNA sequencer-aided fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis (DSA-FACE) is utmost appropriate for the analysis of glycoside hydrolases that have complex substrate specificities. DSA-FACE is demonstrated here to be a highly convenient method for the precise identification of the specificity of different α-L-arabinofuranosidases for (arabino)xylo-oligosaccharides ((A)XOS). The method was validated with two α-L-arabinofuranosidases (EC with well-known specificity, specifically a GH62 α-L-arabinofuranosidase from Aspergillus nidulans (AnAbf62A-m2,3) and a GH43 α-L-arabinofuranosidase from Bifidobacterium adolescentis (BaAXH-d3). Subsequently, application of DSA-FACE revealed the AXOS specificity of two α-L-arabinofuranosidases with previously unknown AXOS specificities. PaAbf62A, a GH62 α-L-arabinofuranosidase from Podospora anserina strain S mat+, was shown to target the O-2 and the O-3 arabinofuranosyl monomers as side chain from mono-substituted β-D-xylosyl residues, whereas a GH43 α-L-arabinofuranosidase from a metagenomic sample (AGphAbf43) only removes an arabinofuranosyl monomer from the smallest AXOS tested. DSA-FACE excels ionic chromatography in terms of detection limit for (A)XOS (picomolar sensitivity), hands-on and analysis time, and the analysis of the degree of polymerization and binding site of the arabinofuranosyl substituent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10091–10102
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Enzyme analysis
  • Substrate specificity
  • α-L-arabinofuranosidases


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