Endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (ENGase) catalyzes hydrolysis of N-linked oligosaccharides. Although many ENGases have been characterized from various organisms, so far no fucose-containing oligosaccharides-specific ENGase has been identified in any organism. Here, we screened soil samples, using dansyl chloride (Dns)-labeled sialylglycan (Dns-SG) as a substrate, and discovered a strain that exhibits ENGase activity in the culture supernatant; this strain, named here as strain HMA12, was identified as a Sphingobacterium species by 16S ribosomal RNA gene analysis. By draft genome sequencing, five candidate ENGase encoding genes were identified in the genome of this strain. Recombinant proteins, purified from Escherichia coli expressing candidate genes ORF1152, ORF1188, ORF3046 and ORF3750 exhibited fucose-containing oligosaccharides-specific ENGase activity. These ENGases exhibited optimum activities at very acidic pHs (between pH 2.3-2.5). BLAST searches using sequences of these candidate genes identified two fungal homologs of ORF1188, one in Beauveria bassiana and the other in Cordyceps militaris. Recombinant ORF1188, Beauveria and Cordyceps ENGases released the fucose-containing oligosaccharides residues from rituximab (immunoglobulin G) but not the high-mannose-containing oligosaccharides residues from RNase B, a result that not only confirmed the substrate specificity of these novel ENGases but also suggested that natural glycoproteins could be their substrates.
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