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FEBS Lett. 2007 Aug 21;581(21):4029-35. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Identification of genes encoding microbial glucuronoyl esterases.

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National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, USDA-ARS, Peoria, IL 61604, USA.


One type of covalent linkages connecting lignin and hemicellulose in plant cell walls is the ester linkage between 4-O-methyl-D-glucuronic acid of glucuronoxylan and lignin alcohols. An enzyme that could hydrolyze such linkages, named glucuronoyl esterase, occurs in the cellulolytic system of the wood-rotting fungus Schizophyllum commune. Here we report partial amino acid sequences of the enzyme and the results of subsequent search for homologous genes in sequenced genomes. The homologous genes of unknown functions were found in genomes of several filamentous fungi and one bacterium. The gene corresponding to the cip2 gene of Hypocrea jecorina (Trichoderma reesei), known to be up-regulated under conditions of induction of cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic enzymes, was over-expressed in H. jecorina. The product of the cip2 gene was purified to homogeneity and shown to exhibit glucuronoyl esterase activity.

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