Summary Microbial depolymerization of plant cell walls contributes to global carbon balance and is a critical component of renewable energy. The genomes of lignocellulose degrading microorganisms encode diverse classes of carbohydrate modifying enzymes, although currently there is a paucity of knowledge on the role of these proteins in vivo. We report the comprehensive analysis of the cellulose degradation system in the saprophytic bacterium Cellvibrio japonicus. Gene expression profiling of C. japonicus demonstrated that three of the 12 predicted β‐1,4 endoglucanases (cel5A, cel5B, and cel45A) and the sole predicted cellobiohydrolase (cel6A) showed elevated expression during growth on cellulose. Targeted gene disruptions of all 13 predicted cellulase genes showed that only cel5B and cel6A were required for optimal growth on cellulose. Our analysis also identified three additional genes required for cellulose degradation: lpmo10B encodes a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO), while cbp2D and cbp2E encode proteins containing carbohydrate binding modules and predicted cytochrome domains for electron transfer. CjLPMO10B oxidized cellulose and Cbp2D demonstrated spectral properties consistent with redox function. Collectively, this report provides insight into the biological role of LPMOs and redox proteins in cellulose utilization and suggests that C. japonicus utilizes a combination of hydrolytic and oxidative cleavage mechanisms to degrade cellulose.
Molecular Microbiology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2014
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