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The Role of Evolving Interfacial Substrate Properties on Heterogeneous Cellulose Hydrolysis Kinetics

Nill, Jennifer Danger, Jeoh, Tina
ACS sustainable chemistry & engineering 2020 v.8 no.17 pp. 6722-6733
binding capacity, binding sites, cellulose, enzymatic hydrolysis, enzyme substrates, enzymes, hydrolysis, models
Interfacial enzyme reactions require formation of an enzyme–substrate complex at the surface of a heterogeneous substrate, but often multiple modes of enzyme binding and types of binding sites complicate analysis of their kinetics. Excess heterogeneous substrate is often used as a justification to model the substrate as unchanging, but using the study of the enzymatic hydrolysis of insoluble cellulose as an example, we argue that reaction rates are dependent on evolving substrate interfacial properties. We hypothesize that the relative abundance of binding sites on cellulose where hydrolysis can occur (productive binding sites) and binding sites where hydrolysis cannot be initiated or is inhibited (nonproductive binding sites) contribute to rate limitations. We show that the initial total number of productive binding sites (the productive binding capacity) determines the magnitude of the initial burst phase of cellulose hydrolysis, while productive binding site depletion explains overall hydrolysis kinetics. Furthermore, we show that irreversibly bound surface enzymes contribute to the depletion of productive binding sites. Our model shows that increasing the ratio of productive to nonproductive binding sites promotes hydrolysis, while maintaining an elevated productive binding capacity throughout conversion is key to preventing hydrolysis slowdown.