Phytases catalyse the hydrolysis of phytate (-inositol hexakisphosphate) to -inositol and inorganic phosphate. In this study genes encoding novel phytases from two different filamentous fungi, strain 9A-1 and were isolated. The encoded PhyA phytase proteins show 60% () and 48% () identity, respectively, to the PhyA of and have 21-29% identity compared to other histidine acid phosphatases. All three PhyA proteins, in contrast to the pH 2.5-optimum acid phosphatase, prefer phytic acid as substrate and show enzyme activity at a broad range of acidic pH values. Based on their enzyme characteristics and protein sequence homology, the phytases form a novel subclass of the histidine acid phosphatase family.


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