A universal assay for screening expression libraries for carbohydrases

P.J.A. Meeuwsen, J.P. Vincken, G. Beldman, A.G.J. Voragen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Although many assays are available for the screening of expression libraries for carbohydrases, some enzymes cannot be detected because their substrates are incompatible with the existing assays. One thing that all carbohydrases have in common is that they increase the number of reducing ends when degrading their substrates. In this paper we explore the possibility of detecting this increase with the highly sensitive bicinchoninic acid (BCA) reducing value assay. This assay can be used for the detection of all carbohydrases degrading any polysaccharide; enzymes with either an exo- or an endo-type of mechanism can be detected at the same time. A cDNA library of Aspergillus tubigensis expressed in Kluyveromyces lactis clones, was screened with this assay for the presence of xylogalacturonan degrading enzyme(s). High background absorbances caused by culture medium, by proteins produced by the clones and by substrate could be dealt with by using the precautions described in this note. Three xylogalacturonase producing clones were found using this procedure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-109
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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