Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 611–619 | Cite as

High-level expression of β-N-Acetylglucosaminidase BsNagZ in Pichia pastoris to obtain GlcNAc

  • Shun Jiang
  • Hongying Jiang
  • Yuling Zhou
  • Sijing JiangEmail author
  • Guimin ZhangEmail author
Research Paper


β-N-Acetylglucosaminidases (NAGase) can remove N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) from the non-reducing end of chitin or chitosan. GlcNAc has many important physiological functions in organism, which can be used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis clinically and be used as food antioxidant, infant food additive and diabetic sweetener. Thus, it is very important to develop genetic-engineering strains with high-yield NAGase to hydrolyze chitin into GlcNAc. Here, the NAGase gene of Bacillus subtilis 168 (BsnagZ) was synthesized according to the codon bias of Pichia pastoris and expressed in P. pastoris. The expression level of BsNagZ in P. pastoris increased over the induced time and the highest activity reached 0.76 U/mL at the 7th day. The recombinant BsNagZ was purified for characterization. The optimal temperature and pH are 60 °C and 6.0, respectively. It can both keep over 80% activities after pre-incubation at 55 °C for one hour and at 4 °C for 12 h from pH 4.5 to 10.0. To further improve the expression level of BsNagZ, a recombinant strain with four copy BsnagZs was screened using a high concentration of zeocin. The highest BsNagZ activity reached 3.2 U/mL at the 12th day, which was fourfold higher than that of single-copy strain. Combined with commercial chitinase CtnSg, GlcNAc can be produced by recombinant BsNagZ when used colloidal chitin as the substrate. Our study highlights that the NAGase was first successfully expressed in P. pastoris and GlcNAc can be produced via NAGase hydrolyzing the colloidal chitin.


β-N-Acetylglucosaminidase Pichia pastoris GlcNAc Colloidal chitin 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31240008), Technical Support Program of Hubei Province (2015BCA271), and 2016 Wuhan Yellow Crane Talents (Science) Program.

Supplementary material

449_2018_2067_MOESM1_ESM.doc (277 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 277 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biocatalysis and Enzyme Engineering, Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Green Transformation of Bio-Resources, The College of Life SciencesHubei UniversityWuhanChina

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