Endoglycoceramidase (EC 126.96.36.199) is an enzyme capable of cleaving the glycosidic linkage between oligosaccharides and ceramides in various glycosphingolipids. We report here the purification, characterization, and cDNA cloning of a novel endoglycoceramidase from the jellyfish, Cyanea nozakii. The purified enzyme showed a single protein band estimated to be 51 kDa on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The enzyme showed a pH optimum of 3.0 and was activated by Triton X-100 and Lubrol PX but not by sodium taurodeoxy-cholate. This enzyme preferentially hydrolyzed gangliosides, especially GT1b and GQ1b, whereas neutral glycosphingolipids were somewhat resistant to hydrolysis by the enzyme. A full-length cDNA encoding the enzyme was cloned by 5'- and 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends using a partial amino acid sequence of the purified enzyme. The open reading frame of 1509 nucleotides encoded a polypeptide of 503 amino acids including a signal sequence of 25 residues and six potential N-glycosylation sites. Interestingly, the Asn-Glu-Pro sequence, which is the putative active site of Rhoclococcus endoglycoceramidase, was conserved in the deduced amino acid sequences. This is the first report of the cloning of an endoglycoceramidase from a eukaryote.
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