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Structure. 2001 Dec;9(12):1183-90.

The structure of the feruloyl esterase module of xylanase 10B from Clostridium thermocellum provides insights into substrate recognition.

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1
Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação em Sanidade Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veteterinária, Pólo Universitário do Alto da Ajuda, 1300-477 Lisboa Codex, Portugal.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Degradation of the plant cell wall requires the synergistic action of a consortium of predominantly modular enzymes. In Clostridiae, these biocatalysts are organized into a supramolecular assembly termed a "cellulosome." This multienzyme complex possesses, in addition to its well-described cellulolytic activity, an apparatus specific for xylan degradation. Cinnamic acid esterases hydrolyze the ferulate groups involved in the crosslinking of arabinoxylans to lignin and thus play a key role in the degradation of the plant cell wall in addition to having promising industrial and medical applications.

RESULTS:

We have cloned and overexpressed the feruloyl esterase module from a 5 domain xylanase, Xyn10B from Clostridium thermocellum. The native structure at 1.6 A resolution has been solved with selenomethionine multiple wavelength anomalous dispersion and refined to a final R(free) of 17.8%. The structure of a hydrolytically inactive mutant, S954A, in complex with the reaction product ferulic acid has been refined at a resolution of 1.4 A with an R(free) of 16.0%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The C. thermocellum Xyn10B ferulic acid esterase displays the alpha/beta-hydrolase fold and possesses a classical Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad. Ferulate esterases are characterized by their specificity, and the active center reveals the binding site for ferulic acid and related compounds. Ferulate binds in a small surface depression that possesses specificity determinants for both the methoxy and hydroxyl ring substituents of the substrate. There appears to be a lack of specificity for the xylan backbone, which may reflect the intrinsic chemical heterogeneity of the natural substrate.

PMID:
11738044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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