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Biochemistry. 2014 Mar 18;53(10):1647-56. doi: 10.1021/bi5000433. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Comparative study of two chitin-active and two cellulose-active AA10-type lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases.

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Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences , P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway.


Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs), found in family 9 (previously GH61), family 10 (previously CBM33), and the newly discovered family 11 of auxiliary activities (AA) in the carbohydrate-active enzyme classification system, are copper-dependent enzymes that oxidize sp(3)-carbons in recalcitrant polysaccharides such as chitin and cellulose in the presence of an external electron donor. In this study, we describe the activity of two AA10-type LPMOs whose activities have not been described before and we compare in total four different AA10-type LPMOs with the aim of finding possible correlations between their substrate specificities, sequences, and EPR signals. EPR spectra indicate that the electronic environment of the copper varies within the AA10 family even though amino acids directly interacting with the copper atom are identical in all four enzymes. This variation seems to be correlated to substrate specificity and is likely caused by sequence variation in areas that affect substrate binding geometry and/or by variation in a cluster of conserved aromatic residues likely involved in electron transfer. Interestingly, EPR signals for cellulose-active AA10 enzymes were similar to those previously observed for cellulose-active AA9 enzymes. Mutation of the conserved phenylalanine positioned in close proximity to the copper center in AA10-type LPMOs to Tyr (the corresponding residue in most AA9-type LPMOs) or Ala, led to complete or partial inactivation, respectively, while in both cases the ability to bind copper was maintained. Moreover, substrate binding affinity and degradation ability seemed hardly correlated, further emphasizing the crucial role of the active site configuration in determining LPMO functionality.

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