School of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, R&D Center of Separation and Extraction Technology in Fermentation Industry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China; Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center for Biomanufacturing Technology (SCICBT), Shanghai 200237, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Chitooligosaccharides (COS) are hydrolytic products of chitosan that are essential in functional food, medicine, and other fields due to their biological activities. Commercial COS are often prepared by the hydrolysis of chitosan by chitosanase. In this study, a glycoside hydrolase family 46 cluster B chitosanase from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (BaCsn46B) was efficiently expressed in Pichia pastoris. The recombinant enzyme was secreted into the culture medium that reached a total extracellular protein concentration of 4.5 g/L with an activity of 8907.2 U/mL in a high cell density fermenter (5 L). The molecular mass of deglycosylated BaCsn46B was 29.0 kDa. Purified BaCsn46B exhibited excellent enzymatic properties, which had high specific activity (2380.5 U/mg) under optimal reaction conditions (55 °C and pH 6.5). BaCsn46B hydrolyzed chitosan yielded a series of COS with different degrees of polymerization by endo-type cleavage. The end hydrolytic products of BaCsn46B were chitobiose and chitotriose, while no monosaccharide yield was evident in the hydrolytic reaction. The excellent secreted expression level and hydrolytic performance make the enzyme a desirable biocatalyst for the industrial preparation of COS.