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Human small intestinal maltase-glucoamylase cDNA cloning. Homology to sucrase-isomaltase.

Nichols B.L., Eldering J.A., Avery S.E., Hahn D., Quaroni A., Sterchi E.E.

It has been hypothesized that human mucosal glucoamylase (EC 3.2.1. 20 and 3.2.1.3) activity serves as an alternate pathway for starch digestion when luminal alpha-amylase activity is reduced because of immaturity or malnutrition and that maltase-glucoamylase plays a unique role in the digestion of malted dietary oligosaccharides used in food manufacturing. As a first step toward the testing of this hypothesis, we have cloned human small intestinal maltase-glucoamylase cDNA to permit study of the individual catalytic and binding sites for maltose and starch enzyme hydrolase activities in subsequent expression experiments. Human maltase-glucoamylase was purified by immunoisolation and partially sequenced. Maltase-glucoamylase cDNA was amplified from human intestinal RNA using degenerate and gene-specific primers with the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The 6,513-base pair cDNA contains an open reading frame that encodes a 1,857-amino acid protein (molecular mass 209,702 Da). Maltase-glucoamylase has two catalytic sites identical to those of sucrase-isomaltase, but the proteins are only 59% homologous. Both are members of glycosyl hydrolase family 31, which has a variety of substrate specificities. Our findings suggest that divergences in the carbohydrate binding sequences must determine the substrate specificities for the four different enzyme activities that share a conserved catalytic site.

J. Biol. Chem. 273:3076-3081(1998) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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