Enzymic analysis of feruloylated arabinoxylans (feraxan) derived from Zea mays cell walls II. Fractionation and partial characterization of feraxan fragments dissociated by a Bacillus subtilis enzyme (feraxanase)
Nishitani K, Nevins DJ
Plant Physiol 91: 242-248
Structural features of feruloylated arabinoxylan (feraxan) present in Zea mays L. (hybrid B 73 x Mo 17) coleoptile cell walls have been studied using a purified feraxan-dissociating enzyme (feraxanase) and an -arabinofuranosidase. This experimental approach has demonstrated the following. (a) Feraxanase dissociated ca. 20% (dry weight basis) of the maize wall preparation. The predominant oligosaccharides enzymically liberated were allocated into seven major subfractions designated A-1 (0.8%), B-1 (1.6%), B-2 (2.4%), B-3 (4.6%), C-1 (1.0%), C-2 (4.2%), and C-3 (0.3%). Values in parentheses reflect the percentage of the wall associated with each subfraction. Subfractions represent samples enriched in different degrees of polymerization, sugar composition, linkage arrangements, and phenolic acid content. (b) B-1, B-2, and B-3 fractions are not feruloylated and have smaller molecular mass (less than 104 kilodaltons) and consist chiefly of t-arabinosyl-5-arabinosyl, 4-xylosyl, 2,4/3,4-xylosyl, and glucuronosyl residues, suggesting that these fragments constitute nonferuloylated regions of arabinoxylan. (c) C-2 and C-3 fractions contain ferulic acid (6.2% and 12.1%, respectively) and are similar to the B series in their sugar linkage arrangements but were derived from feruloylated regions. (d) Alkali treatment of the C-2 fraction decreases the molecular size of the fragment and liberates phenolic acids. The results suggest the presence of alkaline-labile links, probably diferulate bridges. (e) A-1 and C-1 fractions are larger (more than 5 x 105 kilodalton) and contain t-galactosyl-, 4-galactosyl, 2,4-rhamnosyl-residues, galacturonic acid, and the sugar linkage arrangements common to other fractions. The A-1 fraction is not feruloylated, whereas C-1 fraction contains 0.5% ferulic acid. The presence of galactose, rhamnose, and galacturonic acid suggests that pectic polymers, probably homopolygalacturonans and rhamnogalacturonans, are linked to nonferuloylated and feruloylated segments of arabinoxylans.