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Crystal structure and genetic modifications of FI-CMCase from Aspergillus aculeatus F-50

Huang, Jian-Wen, Liu, Weidong, Lai, Hui-Lin, Cheng, Ya-Shan, Zheng, Yingying, Li, Qian, Sun, Hong, Kuo, Chih-Jung, Guo, Rey-Ting, Chen, Chun-Chi
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2016 v.478 no.2 pp. 565-572
Aspergillus aculeatus, Pichia pastoris, biomass, catalytic activity, cell walls, cellulose, crystal structure, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzyme activity, genetic engineering, glycosides, hydrolysis, mutants, protein synthesis
Cellulose is the major component of the plant cell wall and the most abundant renewable biomass on earth, and its decomposition has proven to be very useful in many commercial applications. Endo-1,4-β-d-glucanase (EC; endoglucanase), which catalyzes the random hydrolysis of 1,4-β-glycosidic bonds of the cellulose main chain to cleave cellulose into smaller fragments, is the key cellulolytic enzyme. An endoglucanase isolated from Aspergillus aculeatus F-50 (FI-CMCase), which is classified into the glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 12, was demonstrated to be effectively expressed in the industrial strain Pichia pastoris. Here, the crystal structure and complex structures of P. pastoris-expressed FI-CMCase were solved to high resolution. The overall structure is analyzed and compared to other GH12 members. In addition, the substrate-surrounding residues were engineered to search for variants with improved enzymatic activity. Among 14 mutants constructed, one with two-fold increase in protein expression was identified, which possesses a potential to be further developed as a commercial enzyme product.