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

xylA cloning and sequencing and biochemical characterization of xylose isomerase from Thermotoga neapolitana.

The xylA gene coding for xylose isomerase from the hyperthermophile Thermotoga neapolitana 5068 was cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The gene encoded a polypeptide of 444 residues with a calculated molecular weight of 50,892. The native enzyme was a homotetramer with a molecular weight of 200,000. This xylose isomerase was a member of the family II enzymes (these differ from family I isomerases by the presence of approximately 50 additional residues at the amino terminus). The enzyme was extremely thermostable, with optimal activity above 95 degrees C. The xylose isomerase showed maximum activity at pH 7.1, but it had high relative activity over a broad pH range. The catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) of the enzyme was essentially constant between 60 and 90 degrees C, and the catalytic efficiency decreased between 90 and 98 degrees C primarily because of a large increase in Km. The T. neapolitana xylose isomerase had a higher turnover number and a lower Km for glucose than other family II xylose isomerases. Comparisons with other xylose isomerases showed that the catalytic and cation binding regions were well conserved. Comparison of different xylose isomerase sequences showed that numbers of asparagine and glutamine residues decreased with increasing enzyme thermostability, presumably as a thermophilic strategy for diminishing the potential for chemical denaturation through deamidation at elevated temperatures.[1]


  1. xylA cloning and sequencing and biochemical characterization of xylose isomerase from Thermotoga neapolitana. Vieille, C., Hess, J.M., Kelly, R.M., Zeikus, J.G. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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