A chromosomal DNA fragment with a length of 2,025 bp, carrying the structural gene coding for glucoamylase in Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum, was cloned and sequenced. It coded for 695 amino acids, representing a polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 77.5 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence exhibited high homologies with the glucoamylase sequence of another bacterial glucoamylase (Clostridium sp. G0005) and with fungal glucoamylases. The catalytic domain (amino acids 271 to 695) of the T. thermosaccharolyticum enzyme shared a high degree of similarity (five conserved regions) with the catalytic domain of Aspergillus awamori glucoamylase. By comparing the secondary structure of the sequence of the catalytic domain of the T. thermosaccharolyticum enzyme with that of glucoamylase from A. awamori, and on the basis of X-ray crystallographic data available for the A. awamori enzyme, it turned out that, most probably, both enzymes have a catalytic domain organized into an “(α/α)6-barrel” and an overall size and shape that is very similar. These findings confirm and extend our working model for the macromolecular architecture of the T. thermosaccharolyticum glucoamylase obtained, in earlier experiments, by electron microscopy of negatively stained isolated enzyme molecules. Antibodies for an enzyme-specific peptide located near the active site were successfully applied for inhibition studies of enzyme activity and for electron microscopic epitope mapping. A study comparing the site of attachment of this kind of antibody to the T. thermosaccharolyticum glucoamylase molecule with the expected attachment site as deduced from the A. awamori enzyme structure confirmed the close similarity of both glucoamylases regarding the macromolecular architecture of that part of the enzyme carrying the catalytic center, though helices H9, H10, and H11 in peripheral parts of the A. awamori enzyme are missing in the T. thermosaccharolyticum enzyme.
1998 by The Applied Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Research Foundation