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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2013 Oct;23(5):660-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Recent insights into copper-containing lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases.

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Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK.


Recently the role of oxidative enzymes in the degradation of polysaccharides by saprophytic bacteria and fungi was uncovered, challenging the classical model of polysaccharide degradation of being solely via a hydrolytic pathway. 3D structural analyses of lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases of both bacterial AA10 (formerly CBM33) and fungal AA9 (formerly GH61) enzymes revealed structures with β-sandwich folds containing an active site with a metal coordinated by an N-terminal histidine. Following some initial confusion about the identity of the metal ion it has now been shown that these enzymes are copper-dependent oxygenases. Here we assess recent developments in the academic literature, focussing on the structures of the copper active sites. We provide critical comparisons with known small-molecules studies of copper-oxygen complexes and with copper methane monoxygenase, another of nature's powerful copper oxygenases.

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