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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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

Research units

  • Ghent University
  • University of Toronto
  • Institut national de la recherche agronomique


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

    Research areas

  • DSA-FACE, Enzyme analysis, HPAEC-PAD, Substrate specificity, α-L-arabinofuranosidases

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 28704629