Novel multidomain, multifunctional glycoside hydrolases from highly lignocellulolytic Caldicellulosiruptor species

Jonathan M. Conway, James R. Crosby, Andrew P. Hren, Robert T. Southerland, Laura L. Lee, Vladimir V. Lunin, Petri Alahuhta, Michael E. Himmel, Yannick J. Bomble, Michael W.W. Adams, Robert M. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Biological hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose is an uncommon feature in the microbial world, especially among bacteria and archaea growing optimally above 70°C (the so-called extreme thermophiles). In fact, among this group only certain species in the genus Caldicellulosiruptor are capable of rapid and extensive cellulose degradation. Four novel multidomain glycoside hydrolases (GHs) from Caldicellulosiruptor morganii and Caldicellulosiruptor danielii were produced recombinantly in Caldicellulosiruptor bescii and characterized. These GHs are structurally organized with two or three catalytic domains flanking carbohydrate binding modules from Family 3. Collectively, these enzymes represent GH families 5, 9, 10, 12, 44, 48, and 74, and hydrolyze crystalline cellulose, glucan, xylan, and mannan, the primary carbohydrates in plant biomass. Degradation of microcrystalline cellulose by cocktails of GHs from three Caldicellulosiruptor species demonstrated that synergistic interactions enable mixtures of multiple enzymes to outperform single enzymes, suggesting a community mode of action for lignocellulose utilization in thermal environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4218-4228
Number of pages11
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Caldicellulosiruptor
  • cellulase
  • glycoside hydrolase
  • lignocellulose


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