Mode of action of chitin deacetylase from Mucor rouxii on N-acetylchitooligosaccharides. (1/1030)

The mode of action of chitin deacetylase from the fungus Mucor rouxii on N-acetylchitooligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization 1-7 has been elucidated. Identification of the sequence of chitin oligomers following enzymatic deacetylation was verified by the alternative use of two specific exo-glycosidases in conjunction with HPLC. The results were further verified by 1H-NMR spectroscopy. It was observed that the length of the oligomer is important for enzyme action. The enzyme cannot effectively deacetylate chitin oligomers with a degree of polymerization lower than three. Tetra-N-acetylchitotetraose and penta-N-acetylchitopentaose are fully deacetylated by the enzyme, while in the case of tri-N-acetylchitotriose, hexa-N-acetylchitohexaose and hepta-N-acetylchitoheptaose the reducing-end residue always remains intact. Furthermore, the enzyme initially removes an acetyl group from the nonreducing-end residue of all chitin oligomers with a degree of polymerization higher than 2, and further catalyses the hydrolysis of the following acetamido groups in a processive fashion. The results are in agreement with the mode of action that the same enzyme exhibits on partially deacetylated water soluble chitosan polymers.  (+info)

Chs7p, a new protein involved in the control of protein export from the endoplasmic reticulum that is specifically engaged in the regulation of chitin synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (2/1030)

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae CHS7 gene encodes an integral membrane protein located in the ER which is directly involved in chitin synthesis through the regulation of chitin synthase III (CSIII) activity. In the absence of CHS7 product, Chs3p, but not other secreted proteins, is retained in the ER, leading to a severe defect in CSIII activity and consequently, to a reduced rate of chitin synthesis. In addition, chs7 null mutants show the yeast phenotypes associated with a lack of chitin: reduced mating efficiency and lack of the chitosan ascospore layer, clear indications of Chs7p function throughout the S. cerevisiae biological cycle. CHS3 overexpression does not lead to increased levels of CSIII because the Chs3p excess is retained in the ER. However, joint overexpression of CHS3 and CHS7 increases the export of Chs3p from the ER and this is accompanied by a concomitant increase in CSIII activity, indicating that the amount of Chs7p is a limiting factor for CSIII activity. Accordingly, CHS7 transcription is increased when elevated amounts of chitin synthesis are detected. These results show that Chs7p forms part of a new mechanism specifically involved in Chs3p export from the ER and consequently, in the regulation of CSIII activity.  (+info)

Modification of chitosan to improve its hypocholesterolemic capacity. (3/1030)

Cholestyramine is the most widely used bile acid sequestrant in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. However, cholestyramine has unpleasant side effects as a consequence of its hydrophobic backbone. Therefore, high-capacity bile acid sequestering biopolymers with cationic chitosan derivatives were developed, because electrostatic interactions are important for binding with bile acid anions. Dialkylaminoalkylation and reductive amination of chitosan were done to add dialkylaminoalkyl and an additional free amino group at a hydroxyl site in the chitosan backbone respectively and the amino-derivatized chitosan derivatives were quaternized with methyl iodide to produce a cationic polyelectrolyte. The in vitro bile acid binding capacity of the chitosan derivatives in aqueous NaCl was measured by reversed-phase HPLC. The binding capacities of sodium glycocholate (a major bile acid) to chitosan, DEAE-chitosan, quaternized DEAE-chitosan, and cholestyramine were 1.42, 3.12, 4.06, and 2.78 mmol/g resin, respectively. With quaternized DEAE-chitosan, the bile acid binding capacity increased approximately 50% over that of cholestyramine. The bile acid binding capacity of dialkylaminoalkyl chitosan derivatives increased with the number of carbons in the alkyl groups, indicating that hydrophobic interaction is a secondary factor for the sequestration of bile acids.  (+info)

Development of bacterial contamination during production of yeast extracts. (4/1030)

Baker's yeast suspensions having bacterial populations of 10(6) and 10(8) CFU/ml were subjected to autolysis processes designed to obtain yeast extracts (YE). The bacterial contaminants added to the yeast cell suspensions were produced with spent broths obtained from a commercial yeast production plant and contained 59% cocci (Leuconostoc, Aerococcus, Lactococcus) as well as 41% bacilli (Bacillus). Autolyses were conducted at four different pH levels (4.0, 5.5, 7.0, and 8.5) and with two autolysis-promoting agents (ethyl acetate and chitosan). Processing parameters were more important than the initial bacterial population in the development of contaminating bacteria during manufacture of YE. Drops in the viable bacterial population after a 24-h autolysis were observed when pH was adjusted to 4.0 or when ethyl acetate was added. A significant interaction was found between the effects of pH and autolysis promoters on the bacterial population in YE, indicating that the activity of ethyl acetate, as opposed to that of chitosan, was not influenced by pH.  (+info)

Oligogalacturonic acid and chitosan reduce stomatal aperture by inducing the evolution of reactive oxygen species from guard cells of tomato and Commelina communis. (5/1030)

Stomatal opening provides access to inner leaf tissues for many plant pathogens, so narrowing stomatal apertures may be advantageous for plant defense. We investigated how guard cells respond to elicitors that can be generated from cell walls of plants or pathogens during pathogen infection. The effect of oligogalacturonic acid (OGA), a degradation product of the plant cell wall, and chitosan (beta-1,4-linked glucosamine), a component of the fungal cell wall, on stomatal movements were examined in leaf epidermis of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) and Commelina communis L. These elicitors reduced the size of the stomatal aperture. OGA not only inhibited light-induced stomatal opening, but also accelerated stomatal closing in both species; chitosan inhibited light-induced stomatal opening in tomato epidermis. The effects of OGA and chitosan were suppressed when EGTA, catalase, or ascorbic acid was present in the medium, suggesting that Ca(2+) and H(2)O(2) mediate the elicitor-induced decrease of stomatal apertures. We show that the H(2)O(2) that is involved in this process is produced by guard cells in response to elicitors. Our results suggest that guard cells infected by pathogens may close their stomata via a pathway involving H(2)O(2) production, thus interfering with the continuous invasion of pathogens through the stomatal pores.  (+info)

Maintenance of CD34 expression during proliferation of CD34+ cord blood cells on glycosaminoglycan surfaces. (6/1030)

Recent studies have indicated that glycosaminoglycan (GAG) interactions with hematopoietic progenitors play a significant role in the regulation of hematopoiesis. However, the details of these interactions are not clear. In this study, we examined the role of soluble and immobilized GAGs in the proliferation of CD34+ cells. Chitosan, a cationic polysaccharide, was used to immobilize GAGs in ionic complex membranes. The GAGs studied were heparin, hyaluronate, and chondroitin sulfates A, B, and C. CD34-enriched umbilical cord blood cells were seeded onto tissue culture plates coated with the GAG-chitosan complex membranes. Cultures were maintained in medium supplemented with stem cell factor and interleukin 3 for up to six weeks, during which total and CD34+ cell numbers were determined by flow cytometry. Total cell number expansion ranged from 25-fold to 40-fold after six weeks. However, only heparin and chondroitin sulfate B (CSB) surfaces retained a significant CD34+ fraction. All other surfaces exhibited declines in CD34 expression, with negligible CD34+ percentages remaining after four weeks. In contrast, heparin and CSB surfaces exhibited CD34+ fractions as high as 90% after four weeks. GAG desorption studies indicated that the observed effects were partly mediated by desorbed GAGs in a concentration dependent manner. Subsequent studies showed that sustained high (160 microg/ml) heparin levels had toxic effects, while the same concentration of CSB exhibited more rapid early proliferation of CD34+ cells. In conclusion, this culture system has demonstrated the ability to produce simultaneous proliferation and CD34+ cell enrichment of a partially purified cord blood population by controlling the nature and levels of GAG moieties to which the cells are exposed. The results indicate that specific GAGs can significantly influence the growth and differentiation characteristics of cultured CD34+ cells.  (+info)

Purification, characterization, and gene analysis of a chitosanase (ChoA) from Matsuebacter chitosanotabidus 3001. (7/1030)

The extracellular chitosanase (34,000 M(r)) produced by a novel gram-negative bacterium Matsuebacter chitosanotabidus 3001 was purified. The optimal pH of this chitosanase was 4.0, and the optimal temperature was between 30 and 40 degrees C. The purified chitosanase was most active on 90% deacetylated colloidal chitosan and glycol chitosan, both of which were hydrolyzed in an endosplitting manner, but this did not hydrolyze chitin, cellulose, or their derivatives. Among potential inhibitors, the purified chitosanase was only inhibited by Ag(+). Internal amino acid sequences of the purified chitosanase were obtained. A PCR fragment corresponding to one of these amino acid sequences was then used to screen a genomic library for the entire choA gene encoding chitosanase. Sequencing of the choA gene revealed an open reading frame encoding a 391-amino-acid protein. The N-terminal amino acid sequence had an excretion signal, but the sequence did not show any significant homology to other proteins, including known chitosanases. The 80-amino-acid excretion signal of ChoA fused to green fluorescent protein was functional in Escherichia coli. Taken together, these results suggest that we have identified a novel, previously unreported chitosanase.  (+info)

Characterization of a novel, antifungal, chitin-binding protein from Streptomyces tendae Tu901 that interferes with growth polarity. (8/1030)

The afp1 gene, which encodes the antifungal protein AFP1, was cloned from nikkomycin-producing Streptomyces tendae Tu901, using a nikkomycin-negative mutant as a host and screening transformants for antifungal activity against Paecilomyces variotii in agar diffusion assays. The 384-bp afp1 gene has a low G+C content (63%) and a transcription termination structure with a poly(T) region, unusual attributes for Streptomyces genes. AFP1 was purified from culture filtrate of S. tendae carrying the afp1 gene on the multicopy plasmid pIJ699. The purified protein had a molecular mass of 9,862 Da and lacked a 42-residue N-terminal peptide deduced from the nucleotide sequence. AFP1 was stable at extreme pH values and high temperatures and toward commercial proteinases. AFP1 had limited similarity to cellulose-binding domains of microbial plant cell wall hydrolases and bound to crab shell chitin, chitosan, and cell walls of P. variotii but showed no enzyme activity. The biological activity of AFP1, which represents the first chitin-binding protein from bacteria exhibiting antifungal activity, was directed against specific ascomycetes, and synergistic interaction with the chitin synthetase inhibitor nikkomycin inhibited growth of Aspergillus species. Microscopy studies revealed that fluorescein-labeled AFP1 strongly bound to the surface of germinated conidia and to tips of growing hyphae, causing severe alterations in cell morphogenesis that gave rise to large spherical conidia and/or swollen hyphae and to atypical branching.  (+info)