Blood group B degrading activity of Ruminococcus gnavus α-galactosidase

D. Jane Hata, Daniel S. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Ruminococcus gnavus is a Gram positive, nonspore-forming obligate anaerobe normally found in the human alimentary tract. In culture, this organism constitutively produces a 1-3 α-galactosidase. We fractionated and characterized this enzyme demonstrating hydrolysis of the B epitope on erythrocyte membranes and seroconversion to H epitope (blood type O). Since the enzyme yield was low, cell suspension studies could not be performed. Instead, hydrolysis of the B membrane epitope was studied with an ELISA. A highly purified enzyme product was analyzed for characteristics such as pH, ionic strength, and temperature optimum. Activity in red cell preservative solutions and in the presence of type B plasma was also demonstrated. Ruminococcus gnavus a 1-3 α-galactosidase has potential application in the enzymatic conversion of type B to O packed red blood cell units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalArtificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Immobilization Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 7 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • B epitope
  • α-galactosidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Blood group B degrading activity of Ruminococcus gnavus α-galactosidase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this