Differences in enzymic properties of five recombinant xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTH) proteins of Arabidopsis thaliana

An Maris, Nomchit Kaewthai, Jens M. Eklof, Janice G. Miller, Harry Brumer, Stephen C. Fry, Jean-Pierre Verbelen, Kris Vissenberg

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Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases (XTHs) are cell wall enzymes that are able to graft xyloglucan chains to oligosaccharides or to other available xyloglucan chains and/or to hydrolyse xyloglucan chains. As they are involved in the modification of the load-bearing cell-wall components, they are believed to be very important in the regulation of growth and development. Given the large number (33) of XTH genes in Arabidopsis and the overlapping expression patterns, specific enzymic properties may be expected. Five predominantly root-expressed Arabidopsis thaliana XTHs belonging to subgroup I/II were analysed here. These represent two sets of closely related genes: AtXTH12 and 13 on the one hand (trichoblast-enriched) and AtXTH17, 18, and 19 on the other (expressed in nearly all cell types in the root). They were all recombinantly produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris and partially purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation before they were subsequently all subjected to a series of identical in vitro tests. The kinetic properties of purified AtXTH13 were investigated in greater detail to rule out interference with the assays by contaminating yeast proteins. All five proteins were found to exhibit only the endotransglucosylase (XET; EC activity towards xyloglucan and non-detectable endohydrolytic (XEH; EC activity. Their endotransglucosylase activity was preferentially directed towards xyloglucan and, in some cases, water-soluble cellulose acetate, rather than to mixed-linkage beta-glucan. Isoforms differed in optimum pH (5.0-7.5), in temperature dependence and in acceptor substrate preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2011


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Brassicaceae
  • cell elongation
  • cell wall
  • heterologous protein production
  • xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTH)


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