Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Feb;85(5):1241-9. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2331-y. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Carbohydrate-binding domains: multiplicity of biological roles.

Author information

Departamento de Biología Molecular y Biotecnología del Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico, Distrito Federal 04510, Mexico.


Insoluble polysaccharides can be degraded by a set of hydrolytic enzymes formed by catalytic modules appended to one or more non-catalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM). The most recognized function of these auxiliary domains is to bind polysaccharides, bringing the biocatalyst into close and prolonged vicinity with its substrate, allowing carbohydrate hydrolysis. Examples of insoluble polysaccharides recognized by these enzymes include cellulose, chitin, beta-glucans, starch, glycogen, inulin, pullulan, and xylan. Based on their amino acid similarity, CBMs are grouped into 55 families that show notable variation in substrate specificity; as a result, their biological functions are miscellaneous. Carbohydrate or polysaccharide recognition by CBMs is an important event for processes related to metabolism, pathogen defense, polysaccharide biosynthesis, virulence, plant development, etc. Understanding of the CBMs properties and mechanisms in ligand binding is of vital significance for the development of new carbohydrate-recognition technologies and provide the basis for fine manipulation of the carbohydrate-CBM interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center