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Biotechnol Biofuels. 2013 Apr 26;6(1):58. doi: 10.1186/1754-6834-6-58.

Enhancement of fermentable sugar yields by α-xylosidase supplementation of commercial cellulases.

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Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA.



Although α-linked xylose is a major constituent of the hemicelluloses of land plants, few secreted α-xylosidases have been described from fungi or bacteria. AxlA of Aspergillus niger is a secreted α-xylosidase that was earlier shown to promote the release of free glucose (Glc) and xylose (Xyl) from substrates containing α-linked xylose, including isoprimeverose (IP), the heptasaccharide subunit of pea xyloglucan (XG), and tamarind XG.


The utility of AxlA for enhancing release of free Glc and Xyl in combination with commercial enzyme cocktails from dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants was examined. Without AxlA supplementation, a mixture of CTec2 and HTec2 (both of which are derived from T. reesei) did not release significant levels of Glc from pea XG or tamarind XG. This is consistent with their lack of detectable α-xylosidase activity using model substrates. On alkaline hydrogen peroxide-pretreated corn stover, supplementation of CTec2/HTec2 (at a loading of 2.5 mg/g glucan) with AxlA (at a loading of 8 mg/g glucan) increased Glc yields from 82% to 88% of the total available Glc and increased Xyl yields from 55% to 60%. AxlA supplementation also improved Glc yields from corn stover treated with the commercial cellulase Accellerase 1000. The AxlA enhancement was not a general protein effect because bovine serum albumin or bovine gamma-globulin at similar concentrations did not enhance Glc yields from corn stover in response to CTec2/HTec2. Supplementation of CTec2/HTec2 with AxlA did not enhance Glc release from pretreated green or etiolated pea tissue. However, AxlA did enhance Glc and Xyl yields compared to CTec2/HTec2 alone from another dicotyledonous herbaceous plant, Chenopodium album (lamb's quarters).


Supplementation of commercial cellulase cocktails with AxlA enhances yields of Glc and Xyl from some biomass substrates under some conditions, and may prove useful in industrial lignocellulose conversion.

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