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Annu Rev Biochem. 2010;79:655-81. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-091208-085603.

Cellulosomes: highly efficient nanomachines designed to deconstruct plant cell wall complex carbohydrates.

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CIISA, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal.


Cellulosomes can be described as one of nature's most elaborate and highly efficient nanomachines. These cell bound multienzyme complexes orchestrate the deconstruction of cellulose and hemicellulose, two of the most abundant polymers on Earth, and thus play a major role in carbon turnover. Integration of cellulosomal components occurs via highly ordered protein:protein interactions between cohesins and dockerins, whose specificity allows the incorporation of cellulases and hemicellulases onto a molecular scaffold. Cellulosome assembly promotes the exploitation of enzyme synergism because of spatial proximity and enzyme-substrate targeting. Recent structural and functional studies have revealed how cohesin-dockerin interactions mediate both cellulosome assembly and cell-surface attachment, while retaining the spatial flexibility required to optimize the catalytic synergy within the enzyme complex. These emerging advances in our knowledge of cellulosome function are reviewed here.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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