Thermostable enzymes are a promising alternative for chemical catalysts currently used for the production of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) from chitin. In this study, a novel thermostable β-N-acetylglucosaminidase MthNAG was cloned and purified from the thermophilic fungus Myceliophthora thermophila C1. MthNAG is a protein with a molecular weight of 71 kDa as determined with MALDI-TOF-MS. MthNAG has the highest activity at 50 °C and pH 4.5. The enzyme shows high thermostability above the optimum temperature: at 55 °C (144 h, 75% activity), 60 °C (48 h, 85% activity; half-life 82 h), and 70 °C (24 h, 33% activity; half-life 18 h). MthNAG releases GlcNAc from chitin oligosaccharides (GlcNAc)2–5, p-nitrophenol derivatives of chitin oligosaccharides (GlcNAc)1–3-pNP, and the polymeric substrates swollen chitin and soluble chitosan. The highest activity was detected towards (GlcNAc)2. MthNAG released GlcNAc from the non-reducing end of the substrate. We found that MthNAG and Chitinase Chi1 from M. thermophila C1 synergistically degraded swollen chitin and released GlcNAc in concentration of approximately 130 times higher than when only MthNAG was used. Therefore, chitinase Chi1 and MthNAG have great potential in the industrial production of GlcNAc.
- Myceliophthora thermophila C1