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World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 1992 Jul;8(4):353-68. doi: 10.1007/BF01198746.

Xylan structure, microbial xylanases, and their mode of action.

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the Department of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, 411 008, Pune, India.


Xylans, the major portion of the hemicellulose of plant cell walls and grasses, are heteropolymers consisting principally of xylose and arabinose. Microbial xylanases with different multiplicities and properties are reported. Most studies on the mode of action of these xylanases have been carried out with fungi and there is very little information available on bacterial xylanases. Fungal xylanases have three or more substrate binding sites: for exampleAspergillus niger, Ceratocytis paradoxa, Cryptococcus albidus andChainia sp. endoxylanases have four to seven subsites with the catalytic site located at the centre of these sub-sites. The analysis of these sub-sites is either by kinetic or end-product analysis studies. Kinetic studies are used for exo-type enzymes while the end-product analysis studies are more convenient for endo-type enzymes. This review covers microbial xylanases with special emphasis on studies of sub-site mapping. The industrial applications of the microbial xylanases are also discussed.


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