AbstractThe enzyme involved in hexenuronic acid (HexA) removal from kraft pulp was identified in Paenibacillus sp. strain 07. Extracellular and intracellular enzymes of Paenibacillus sp. were assessed for their hexenuronosyl-xylotriose (∆X3) degradation activity. First, ∆X3 was obtained from hardwood kraft pulp by enzymatic hydrolysis using three commercial enzymes. Crude extracellular and intracellular enzyme fractions were obtained from Paenibacillus cultures cultivated in 0.5% (w/v) birch wood xylan as the sole carbon source. The ∆X3-degrading activities of the enzyme fractions were measured by hydrolysis assays in sodium acetate buffer containing ∆X3 substrate (pH 6) at 50 °C. The reaction products were analyzed by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection. The enzyme fractions displayed different chromatogram patterns. After treatment with the intracellular enzyme fraction, the chromatograms displayed xylose and hexenuronosyl xylobiose (∆X2) peaks. The chromatogram patterns of the extracellular fraction assays indicated xylose, xylotriose, and ∆X2 production. Thus, the intracellular enzymes of Paenibacillus can hydrolyze the xylosidic linkages at the reducing ends of ∆X3, whereas a specific extracellular enzyme can hydrolyze HexA. This enzyme is potentially applicable to HexA removal during bio-bleaching.