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Processivity and enzymatic mechanism of a multifunctional family 5 endoglucanase from Bacillus subtilis BS-5 with potential applications in the saccharification of cellulosic substrates

Wu, Bin, Zheng, Shan, Pedroso, Marcelo Monteiro, Guddat, Luke W., Chang, Siyuan, He, Bingfang, Schenk, Gerhard
Biotechnology for biofuels 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 20
Bacillus subtilis, active sites, alanine, binding capacity, biofuels, biomass, carbohydrate binding, carboxymethylcellulose, cellobiose, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzyme activity, fuel production, industrialization, lignocellulose, mutants, mutation, phenylalanine, reducing sugars, saccharification
BACKGROUND: Presently, enzymes still constitute a major part of the cost of biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass. Processive endoglucanases, which possess both endoglucanase and exoglucanase activity, have the potential to reduce the costs of biomass saccharification when used together with commercial cellulases. Therefore, the exploration of new processive endoglucanases has attracted much attention with a view to accelerating the industrialization of biofuels and biochemicals. RESULTS: The endoglucanase EG5C and its truncated form EG5C-1 from Bacillus subtilis BS-5 were expressed and characterized. EG5C was a typical endoglucanase, comprised of a family 5 catalytic domain and family 3 carbohydrate-binding domain, and which had high activity toward soluble cellulosic substrates, but low activity toward insoluble cellulosic substrates. Importantly, the truncated form EG5C-1 was a processive endoglucanase that hydrolyzed not only carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), but also insoluble cellulosic substrates. The hydrolytic activities of EG5C-1 towards CMC, phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose (PASC), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside, filter paper and Avicel are 4170, 700, 2550, 405 and 320 U/μmol, respectively. These data demonstrated that EG5C-1 had higher activity ratio of exoglucanase to endoglucanase than other known processive endoglucanases. When PASC was degraded by EG5C-1, the ratio of soluble to insoluble reducing sugars was about 3.7 after 3 h of incubation with cellobiose and cellotriose as the main products. Importantly, EG5C-1 alone was able to hydrolyze filter paper and PASC. At 5% substrate concentration and 10 FPU/g PASC enzyme loading, the saccharification yield was 76.5% after 60 h of incubation. Replacement of a phenylalanine residue (F238) by an alanine at the entrance/exit of the substrate binding cleft significantly reduces the ability of EG5C-1 to degrade filter paper and Avicel, but this mutation has little impact on CMCase activity. The processivity of this mutant was also greatly reduced while its cellulose binding ability was markedly enhanced. CONCLUSIONS: The processive endoglucanase EG5C-1 from B. subtilis BS-5 exhibits excellent properties that render it a suitable candidate for use in biofuel and biochemical production from lignocellulosic biomass. In addition, our studies also provide useful information for research on enzyme processivity at the molecular level.