Antifungal activity of rye (secale cereale) seed chitinases: The different binding manner of class i and class ii chitinases to the fungal cell walls

Toki Taira, Takayuki Ohnuma, Takeshi Yamagami, Yoichi Aso, Masatsune Ishiguro, Masanobu Ishihara

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The antifungal activities of rye seed chitinase-a (RSC-a, class I) and -c (RSC-c, class II) were studied in detail using two different bioassays with Trichoderma sp. as well as binding and degradation experiments with the cell walls prepared from its mycelia. RSC-a inhibited more strongly the re-extension of the hyphae, containing mainly mature cells, than RSC-c did. Upon incubation of the fungus with fluorescent chitinases, FITC- labeled RSC-a was found to be located in the hyphal tips, lateral walls, and septa, while FITC-labeled RSC-c was only in the hyphal tip. RSC-a had a greater affinity for the cell walls than RSC-c. RSC-a liberated a larger amount of reducing sugar from the cell walls than RSC-c did. These results inferred that RSC-a first binds to the lateral walls and septa, consisting of the mature cell walls, and degrades mature chitin fiber, while RSC-c binds only to the hyphal tip followed by degradation of only nascent chitin. As a result, RSC-a inhibited fungal growth more effectively than RSC-c. Furthermore, it was suggested that the chitin-binding domain in RSC-a assists the antifungal action of RSC-a by binding to the fungal hypha.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-977
Number of pages8
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry

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