Distribution of endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase amongst enterococci

G Roberts, K A Homer, E Tarelli, J Philpott-Howard, L A Devriese, D Beighton

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Enterococci are becoming increasingly important nosocomial pathogens, a fact mainly attributed to their antimicrobial resistance profiles. However, the enzymic activities required for these organisms to proliferate in vivo have received little attention. Enterococcus faecalis has been shown previously to produce an endo-beta -N-acetylglucosaminidase activity which cleaves high mannose-type glycans in glycoproteins between the N-acetylglucosamine residues of the pentasaccharide core. This study investigated the distribution of this endoglycosidase activity amongst the other enterococcal species. Ribonuclease B, a high mannose-type glycoprotein, was used as a substrate and endoglycosidase activity was demonstrated by a combination of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry and high pH anion-exchange chromatography. Endo-beta -N-acetylglucosaminidase activity was present in 10 of the 18 enterococcal species isolated from both human and animal sources, including all E. faecalis strains. The most notable exception was the lack of this activity in all E. faecium isolates tested. All enterococcal species possessing endoglycosidase activity utilised the liberated glycans to support bacterial growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620 - 626
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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