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  • Author or Editor: E. Fawzi x
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A thermostable xylanase was purified and characterized from the thermophilic fungus Rhizomucor miehei (Cooney & Emerson) Schipper. The enzyme was purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate precipitation, sephadex G-100 gel filtration and diethylaminoethyl cellulose anion exchange chromatography with a 29.1-fold. The enzyme was highly active within a range of pH from 5.0 to 6.5. The optimum temperature of the purified enzyme was 75 °C. The enzyme showed high thermal stability at 70 °C and 75 °C and the half-life of the xylanase at 90 °C was 30 min. Km and Vmax values at 50 °C of the purified enzyme were 0.055 mg/ml and 113.5 μmol min−1 mg−1, respectively. The enzyme was activated by Ca2+, Cu2+, K+ and Na+. On the other hand, Ag2+, Hg2+, Ba2+, and Zn2+ inhibited the enzyme. The molecular weight of the xylanase was estimated to be 27 kDa by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The present study is among the first works to examine and describe a secreted highly thermostable endoxylanase from the Rhizomucor miehei fungus. This enzyme displays a number of biochemical properties that make it a potentially strong candidate for industrial and commercial application in pulp bleaching.

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