Structure and Function of a Cellulase Gene in Redclaw Crayfish, Cherax Quadricarinatus

Crawford, Allison, Kricker, Jennifer A., Anderson, Alexander, Richardson, Neil A., & Mather, Peter B. (2004) Structure and Function of a Cellulase Gene in Redclaw Crayfish, Cherax Quadricarinatus. Gene, 340(2), pp. 267-274.

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The most abundant organic compound produced by plants is cellulose; however, it has long been accepted that most animals do not produce endogenous enzymes required for its degradation, but rely instead on symbiotic relationships with microbes that produce the necessary enzymes. Here, we present the genomic organisation of an endogenous glycosyl hydrolase family (GHF) 9 gene in redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus), consolidated from a cDNA sequence determined by Byrne et al. [Gene 239 (1999) 317–324.]. Comparison with several other invertebrate GHF9 genes reveals the conservation of both intron position/phase and splice sequence, which adds support to an argument for an ancestral animal cellulase gene. Furthermore, two introns in plant GHF9 genes are also identical in position, implying a more ancient origin for this class of animal cellulase.

Protein purification from redclaw gastric fluid via fast performance liquid chromatography (FPLC) indicated the presence of two endoglucanase enzymes. The molecular weights of these components were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation—time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) to be 47,887 Da (Cel1) and 50,295 Da (Cel2). Cel1 is possibly the functional product of the described cellulase gene, with N-terminal amino acid residues identical to the translated amino acid sequence from the corresponding gene region. Cel2 was identical to Cel1 for 7 of 11 N-terminal residues and likely to be the product of a paralogous endoglucanase gene. These results suggest that redclaw crayfish possess at least one and possibly two functional, endoglucanase enzymes, although further work is required to confirm their origin and attributes.

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ID Code: 10468
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2004.06.060
ISSN: 0378-1119
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Elsevier
Deposited On: 30 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:30

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