Tannin degradation by a novel tannase enzyme present in some Lactobacillus plantarum strains

Natalia Jiménez, María Esteban-Torres, José Miguel Mancheño, Blanca de Las Rivas, Rosario Muñoz
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2014, 80 (10): 2991-7
Lactobacillus plantarum is frequently isolated from the fermentation of plant material where tannins are abundant. L. plantarum strains possess tannase activity to degrade plant tannins. An L. plantarum tannase (TanBLp, formerly called TanLp1) was previously identified and biochemically characterized. In this study, we report the identification and characterization of a novel tannase (TanALp). While all 29 L. plantarum strains analyzed in the study possess the tanBLp gene, the gene tanALp was present in only four strains. Upon methyl gallate exposure, the expression of tanBLp was induced, whereas tanALp expression was not affected. TanALp showed only 27% sequence identity to TanBLp, but the residues involved in tannase activity are conserved. Optimum activity for TanALp was observed at 30°C and pH 6 in the presence of Ca(2+) ions. TanALp was able to hydrolyze gallate and protocatechuate esters with a short aliphatic alcohol substituent. Moreover, TanALp was able to fully hydrolyze complex gallotannins, such as tannic acid. The presence of the extracellular TanALp tannase in some L. plantarum strains provides them an advantage for the initial degradation of complex tannins present in plant environments.

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