l-fucose is a constituent of glycoconjugates in different organisms. Fucosidases catalyze the removal of fucose residues, and have been correlated to different physiological and pathological processes, such as fertilization, cancer, fucosidosis, and digestion in molluscs and ticks. An α-l-fucosidase sequence was identified from the transcriptome and proteome from the midgut diverticula of the synanthropic spider Nephilingis cruentata. In this article, we describe the isolation of this α-l-fucosidase and the characterization of its activity using substrates and inhibitors demonstrating different specificities among fucosidases. The enzyme had a Km of 32 and 400 μM for 4-methylumbelliferyl α-l-fucopyranoside and 4-nitrophenyl α-l-fucopyranoside, respectively; and was unable to hydrolyze fucoidan. Nephilingis cruentata α-l-fucosidase was inhibited competitively by fucose and fuconojyrimycin. The fucosidase had two distinct pH optima even in the isolated form, due to oligomerization dependent on pH, as previously described to other fucosidases. Alignment and molecular homology modeling of the protein sequence with other fucosidases indicated that the active sites and catalytic residues were different, including residues involved in acid/base catalysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed, for the first time, gene-duplication events for fucosidases in Arachnida species. All these data reveal that studies on fucosidases in organisms distinct from bacteria, fungi, and humans are important.
- Carbohydrase specificity
- Homology modeling