Enzymatic depolymerization of hemicellulose to monomer sugars needs the synergistic action of multiple enzymes, among them endo-xylanases (EC 184.108.40.206) and β-xylosidases (EC 220.127.116.11) (collectively xylanases) play a vital role in depolymerizing xylan, the major component of hemicellulose. Recent developments in recombinant protein engineering have paved the way for engineering and expressing xylanases in both heterologous and homologous hosts. Functional expression of endo-xylanases has been successful in many hosts including bacteria, yeasts, fungi and plants with yeasts being the most promising expression systems. Functional expression of β-xylosidases is more challenging possibly due to their more complicated structures. The structures of endo-xylanases of glycoside hydrolase families 10 and 11 have been well elucidated. Family F/10 endo-xylanases are composed of a cellulose-binding domain and a catalytic domain connected by a linker peptide with a (β/α) 8 fold TIM barrel. Family G/11 endo-xylanases have a β-jelly roll structure and are thought to be able to pass through the pores of hemicellulose network owing to their smaller molecular sizes. The structure of a β- d -xylosidase belonging to family 39 glycoside hydrolase has been elucidated as a tetramer with each monomer being composed of three distinct regions: a catalytic domain of the canonical (β/α) 8 — TIM barrel fold, a β-sandwich domain and a small α-helical domain with the enzyme active site that binds to d -xylooligomers being present on the upper side of the barrel. Glycosylation is generally considered as one of the most important post-translational modifications of xylanases, but a few examples showed functional expression of eukaryotic xylanases in bacteria. The optimal ratio of these synergistic enzymes is very important in improving hydrolysis efficiency and reducing enzyme dosage but has hardly been addressed in literature. Xylanases have been used in traditional fields such as food, feed and paper industries for a longer time but more and more attention has been paid to using them in producing sugars and other chemicals from lignocelluloses in recent years. Mining new genes from nature, rational engineering of known genes and directed evolution of these genes are required to get tailor-made xylanases for various industrial applications.
Biotechnology Advances – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2012
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