α-Galactosidases are important industrial enzymes for hemicellulosic biomass degradation or modification. In this study, six novel extracellular α-galactosidases from Penicillium subrubescens were produced in Pichia pastoris and characterized. All α-galactosidases exhibited high affinity to pNPαGal, and only AglE was not active towards galacto-oligomers. Especially AglB and AglD released high amounts of galactose from guar gum, carob galactomannan and locust bean, but combining α-galactosidases with an endomannanase dramatically improved galactose release. Structural comparisons to other α-galactosidases and homology modelling showed high sequence similarities, albeit significant differences in mechanisms of productive binding, including discrimination between various galactosides. To our knowledge, this is the first study of such an extensive repertoire of extracellular fungal α-galactosidases, to demonstrate their potential for degradation of galactomannan-rich biomass. These findings contribute to understanding the differences within glycoside hydrolase families, to facilitate the development of new strategies to generate tailor-made enzymes for new industrial bioprocesses.
- Substrate Specificity