Carbohydrate-binding module 74 is a novel starch-binding domain associated with large and multidomain α-amylase enzymes

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Microbacterium aurum B8.A is a bacterium that originates from a potato starch-processing plant and employs a GH13 α-amylase (MaAmyA) enzyme that forms pores in potato starch granules. MaAmyA is a large and multi-modular protein that contains a novel domain at its C terminus (Domain 2). Deletion of Domain 2 from MaAmyA did not affect its ability to degrade starch granules but resulted in a strong reduction in granular pore size. Here, we separately expressed and purified this Domain 2 in Escherichia coli and determined its likely function in starch pore formation. Domain 2 independently binds amylose, amylopectin, and granular starch but does not have any detectable catalytic (hydrolytic or oxidizing) activity on α-glucan substrates. Therefore, we propose that this novel starch-binding domain is a new carbohydrate-binding module (CBM), the first representative of family CBM74 that assists MaAmyA in efficient pore formation in starch granules. Protein sequence-based BLAST searches revealed that CBM74 occurs widespread, but in bacteria only, and is often associated with large and multi-domain α-amylases containing family CBM25 or CBM26 domains. CBM74 may specifically function in binding to granular starches to enhance the capability of α-amylase enzymes to degrade resistant starches (RSs). Interestingly, the majority of family CBM74 representatives are found in α-amylases originating from human gut-associated Bifidobacteria, where they may assist in resistant starch degradation. The CBM74 domain thus may have a strong impact on the efficiency of RS digestion in the mammalian gastrointestinal tract.CBM74 is a novel starch-binding domain mainly found in large and multi-domain alpha-amylase enzymes. A relatively large number of the bacteria possessing enzymes with CBM74 belong to the human gut microbiota. We speculate that CBM74 is involved in the degradation of carbohydrates which are resistant to human gastrointestinal enzymes and instead are fermented in the large intestine.

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