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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 22;278(34):31988-97. Epub 2003 Jun 4.

Transcriptional regulation of biomass-degrading enzymes in the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei.

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  • 1Genencor International, Inc., Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.


The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei produces and secretes profuse quantities of enzymes that act synergistically to degrade cellulase and related biomass components. We partially sequenced over 5100 random T. reesei cDNA clones. Among the sequences whose predicted gene products had significant similarity to known proteins, 12 were identified that encode previously unknown enzymes that likely function in biomass degradation. Microarrays were used to query the expression levels of each of the sequences under different conditions known to induce cellulolytic enzyme synthesis. Most of the genes encoding known and putative biomass-degrading enzymes were transcriptionally co-regulated. Moreover, despite the fact that several of these enzymes are not thought to degrade cellulase directly, they were coordinately overexpressed in a cellulase overproducing strain. A variety of additional sequences whose function could not be ascribed using the limited sequence available displayed analogous behavior and may also play a role in biomass degradation or in the synthesis of biomass-degrading enzymes. Sequences exhibiting additional regulatory patterns were observed that might reflect roles in regulation of cellulase biosynthesis. However, genes whose products are involved in protein processing and secretion were not highly regulated during cellulase induction.

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