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Direct in situ observation of synergism between cellulolytic enzymes during the biodegradation of crystalline cellulose fibers.

Wang, Jingpeng; Quirk, Amanda; Lipkowski, Jacek; Dutcher, John R; Clarke, Anthony J.
Langmuir; 29(48): 14997-5005, 2013 Dec 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24195649
High-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to image the real-time in situ degradation of crystalline by three types of T. reesei cellulolytic enzymes-TrCel6A, TrCel7A, and TrCel7B-and their mixtures. TrCel6A and TrCel7A are exo-acting cellobiohydrolases processing cellulose fibers from the nonreducing and reducing ends, respectively. TrCel7B is an endoglucanase that hydrolyzes amorphous cellulose within fibers. When acting alone on native cellulose fibers, each of the three enzymes is incapable of significant degradation. However, mixtures of two enzymes exhibited synergistic effects. The degradation effects of this synergism depended on the order in which the enzymes were added. Faster hydrolysis rates were observed when TrCel7A (exo) was added to fibers pretreated first with TrCel7B (endo) than when adding the enzymes in the opposite order. Endo-acting TrCel7B removed amorphous cellulose, softened and swelled the fibers, and exposed single microfibrils, facilitating the attack by the exo-acting enzymes. AFM images revealed that exo-acting enzymes processed the TrCel7B-pretreated fibers preferentially from one specific end (reducing or nonreducing). The most efficient (almost 100%) hydrolysis was observed with the mixture of the three enzymes. In this mixture, TrCel7B softened the fiber and TrCel6A and TrCel7A were directly observed to process it from the two opposing ends. This study provides high-resolution direct visualization of the nature of the synergistic relation between T. reesei exo- and endo-acting enzymes digesting native crystalline cellulose.