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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation and characterization of chitinases from Verticillium lecanii.

Degenerate PCR primers corresponding to conserved domains of fungal chitinases were designed, and PCR was performed on genomic DNA of the entomogenous fungus Verticillium lecanii (Zimmermann) Viegas. Two distinct PCR fragments, chf1 and chf2, were isolated and used to identify two DNA contigs. Analyses of these two contigs revealed that we had obtained the full-length DNA sequence including the promoter, 5' untranslated region, open reading frame (ORF), and 3' untranslated regions for two distinct chitinase-like genes. These two genomic DNA sequences exhibited 51% identity at the amino acid (aa) level and were designed as acidic (chi1) and basic (chi2) chitinase-like genes. The isolated cDNA for chi1 gene is 1110 bp with a predicted protein of 370 aa and molecular mass of 40.93 kDa, and its ORF was uninterrupted in its corresponding genomic DNA sequence. The cDNA for the chi2 gene is 1269 bp, a predicted ORF of 423 aa and molecular mass of 45.95 kDa. In contrast, the ORF was interrupted by three introns in its corresponding genomic DNA. The basic chitinase gene (chi2) was successfully expressed in the Pichia pastoris system; optimum enzymatic activity was observed at 22 degrees C and at pH 7. 5. CHI1 and CHI2 were clustered into two different phylogenetic groups according to their sequence alignments with 28 other fungal chitinases. A chitin-binding domain, comprising two sub-domains that exhibit similarities at the aa level to chitin binding domains in bacteria, was identified in 30 fungal chitinase sequences examined.[1]


  1. Isolation and characterization of chitinases from Verticillium lecanii. Lu, Z.X., Laroche, A., Huang, H.C. Can. J. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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