Glycoside hydrolase (GH) 87-type α-1,3-glucanase hydrolyses the α-1,3-glucoside linkages of α-1,3-glucan, which is found in fungal cell walls and extracellular polysaccharides produced by oral Streptococci. In this study, we report on the molecular structure of the catalytic unit of GH 87-type α-1,3-glucanase, Agl-KA, from Bacillus circulans, as determined by x-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.82 Å. The catalytic unit constitutes a complex structure of two tandemly connected domains—the N-terminal galactose-binding-like domain and the C-terminal right-handed β-helix domain. While the β-helix domain is widely found among polysaccharide-processing enzymes, complex formation with the galactose-binding-like domain was observed for the first time. Biochemical assays showed that Asp1067, Asp1090 and Asp1091 are important for catalysis, and these residues are indeed located at the putative substrate-binding cleft, which forms a closed end and explains the product specificity.
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