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J Biotechnol. 1997 Sep 16;57(1-3):71-81.

Enzymatic properties of cellulases from Humicola insolens.

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Novo Nordisk, Novo Allé, Bagsvaerd, Denmark. MAS@NOVO.DK


We present the analysis of the activities towards soluble and insoluble substrates of seven cellulases cloned from the saprophytic fungus Humicola insolens. The activity on the soluble polymer substrate carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) was used to determine the pH activity profiles of the five endoglucanases (EG), whereas cellotriose and reduced cellohexaose were used to determine the pH activity profiles of cellobiohydrolase I (CBH) and CBH II. All the EGs show optimal activity between pH 7 and 8.5, while CBH I and CBH II peak around pH 5.5 and 9, respectively. The catalytic activities of five of these cellulases were investigated under neutral and alkaline conditions using reduced cellohexaose as a substrate in a cellobiose oxidase coupled assay. EG I and CBH I both belong to family (7) according to a recent classification of glycosyl hydrolases. They both have activity against cellotriose. Therefore, they were studied using a coupled assay involving glucose oxidase. The activity on insoluble substrate (phosphoric-acid swollen cellulose) was assessed by the formation of reducing groups. The presence of a cellulose binding domain (CBD) lowers the apparent KM. This can be explained by the dispersing action of CBD. However, the CBD also reduces the apparent k(cat) probably by slowing down the mobility. EG I, EG II and EG III show similar activity towards CMC and amorphous cellulose, while EG V, EG VI, CBH I and CBH II have the highest catalytic rate on amorphous cellulose. In summary, Humicola insolens possesses a battery of cellulose-degrading enzymes which cooperate in the efficient hydrolysis of cellulose.

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