Gangliosides, sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids, are membrane constituents of vertebrates and are known to have important roles in cellular differentiation, adhesion, and recognition. We report here the isolation of a bacterium capable of degrading gangliotetraose-series gangliosides and a new method for the production of glucosylceramide with this bacterium. GM1a ganglioside was found to be sequentially degraded by Paenibacillus sp. strain TS12, which was isolated from soil, as follows: GM1a → asialo GM1 → asialo GM2 → lactosylceramide → glucosylceramide. TS12 was found to produce a series of ganglioside-degrading enzymes, such as sialidases, β-galactosidases, and β-hexosaminidases. TS12 also produced β-glucosidases, but glucosylceramide was somewhat resistant to the bacterial enzyme under the conditions used. Taking advantage of the specificity, we developed a new method for the production of glucosylceramide using TS12 as a biocatalyst. The method involves the conversion of crude bovine brain gangliosides to glucosylceramide by coculture with TS12 and purification of the product by chromatography with Wakogel C-300 HG.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology