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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Mar;86(2):525-33. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2231-1. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

The noncellulosomal family 48 cellobiohydrolase from Clostridium phytofermentans ISDg: heterologous expression, characterization, and processivity.

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Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 210-A Seitz Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.


Family 48 glycoside hydrolases (cellobiohydrolases) are among the most important cellulase components for crystalline cellulose hydrolysis mediated by cellulolytic bacteria. Open reading frame (Cphy_3368) of Clostridium phytofermentans ISDg encodes a putative family 48 glycoside hydrolase (CpCel48) with a family 3 cellulose-binding module. CpCel48 was successfully expressed as two soluble intracellular forms with or without a C-terminal His-tag in Escherichia coli and as a secretory active form in Bacillus subtilis. It was found that calcium ion enhanced activity and thermostability of the enzyme. CpCel48 had high activities of 15.1 U micromol(-1) on Avicel and 35.9 U micromol(-1) on regenerated amorphous cellulose (RAC) with cellobiose as a main product and cellotriose and cellotetraose as by-products. By contrast, it had very weak activities on soluble cellulose derivatives (e.g., carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)) and did not significantly decrease the viscosity of the CMC solution. Cellotetraose was the smallest oligosaccharide substrate for CpCel48. Since processivity is a key characteristic for cellobiohydrolases, the new initial false/right attack model was developed for estimation of processivity by considering the enzyme's substrate specificity, the crystalline structure of homologous Cel48 enzymes, and the configuration of cellulose chains. The processivities of CpCel48 on Avicel and RAC were estimated to be approximately 3.5 and 6.0, respectively. Heterologous expression of secretory active cellobiohydrolase in B. subtilis is an important step for developing recombinant cellulolytic B. subtilis strains for low-cost production of advanced biofuels from cellulosic materials in a single step.

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