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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2006 Dec;63(24):2954-67.

Recent structural studies of carbohydrate-binding modules.

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  • 1International Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Yokohama City University, 1-7-29 Suehiro, Tsurumi, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 230-0045, Japan.


Carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) are found in many carbohydrate-active enzymes. CBMs bind to a range of polysaccharides, their primary function being to increase the catalytic efficiency of the carbohydrate-active enzymes against soluble and/or insoluble substrates. CBMs bind to their target ligands with high specificities and affinities. Thus, CBM systems are excellent models to study the mechanism of protein-carbohydrate interaction. To date, CBMs have been classified into 45 different families and many structural and functional studies have been reported. At present, three-dimensional structures of CBMs from 31 different families have been determined. These structures demonstrate that the fold most commonly found in CBMs is the beta-sandwich. In the past few years, about 10 new structures from different families have been reported. These enable detailed classification of CBM structures. This article reviews recent structural and functional studies of CBMs and discusses the sub-classification of beta-sandwich CBMs.

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