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Biotechnol Prog. 2010 Jul-Aug;26(4):960-7. doi: 10.1002/btpr.411.

Use of cellulases and recombinant cellulose binding domains for refining TCF kraft pulp.

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  • 1Textile and Paper Engineering Dept., ETSEIAT, Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya, Terrassa, Spain.


The modular endoglucanase Cel9B from Paenibacillus barcinonensis is a highly efficient biocatalyst, which expedites pulp refining and reduces the associated energy costs as a result. In this work, we set out to identify the specific structural domain or domains responsible for the action of this enzyme on cellulose fibre surfaces with a view to facilitating the development of new cellulases for optimum biorefining. Using the recombinant enzymes GH9-CBD3c, Fn3-CBD3b, and CBD3b, which are truncated forms of Cel9B, allowed us to assess the individual effects of the catalytic, cellulose binding, and fibronectin-like domains of the enzyme on the refining of TCF kraft pulp from Eucalyptus globulus. Based on the physico-mechanical properties obtained, the truncated form containing the catalytic domain (GH9-CBD3c) has a strong effect on fibre morphology. Comparing its effect with that of the whole cellulase (Cel9B) revealed that the truncated enzyme contributes to increasing paper strength through improved tensile strength and burst strength and also that the truncated form is more effective than the whole enzyme in improving tear resistance. Therefore, the catalytic domain of Cel9B has biorefining action on pulp. Although cellulose binding domains (CBDs) are less efficient toward pulp refining, evidence obtained in this work suggests that CBD3b alters fibre surfaces and influences paper properties as a result.

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