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Biomacromolecules. 2013 May 13;14(5):1268-77. doi: 10.1021/bm300810t. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Binding specificity and thermodynamics of cellulose-binding modules from Trichoderma reesei Cel7A and Cel6A.

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  • 1Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Plant Biology, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Center for NanoCellulosics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, United States.


In this work, Family 1 cellulose binding modules CBMCel7A and CBMCel6A were heterologously expressed and purified from Escherichia coli , and the binding properties between these CBMs and cellulose substrates were studied. Cellulose nanowhiskers (CNWs, the crystalline portion of cellulose), microcrystalline cellulose Avicel PH101 (partially crystalline cellulose), and phosphoric acid swollen cellulose (PASC, amorphous cellulose) were used as representative models for cellulose to better understand the binding interactions between the CBMs and different regions of native cellulose. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) was combined with adsorption-isotherm experiment to analyze the thermodynamics of CBM binding to various cellulose substrates. N2 adsorption and static light scattering (SLS) data were used to estimate the accessible surface area of cellulose which was then used for ITC data analysis. A new method of determining the cellulose molarity based on the available surface area for CBM binding was developed, which allows different cellulose substrates to be compared for binding experiments. The ITC results showed that the binding constant (Ka) to crystalline CNWs was ∼10(5) M(-1) for CBMCel7A, while ∼10(6) M(-1) for CBMCel6A, suggesting a higher binding affinity of CBMCel6A to CNWs. For Avicel, lower binding constants for both CBMs were observed, and weak bindings to PASC were characterized, suggesting that the binding between CBMCel7A,Cel6A and cellulose to some extent relates to the crystallinity of cellulose. Additionally, the binding reactions were driven by a favorable enthalpy change, offset partially by an unfavorable entropy change. It is suggested that CBMCel6A preferentially binds to the reducing end of cellulose chain, while CBMCel7A does not show such end binding specificities. Cello-oligosaccharides less than two glucose units did not bind with CBMs, and improved binding affinities were observed for cello-oligosaccharides with longer glucose units.

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