Stochastic molecular model of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose for ethanol production.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: During cellulosic ethanol production, cellulose hydrolysis is achieved by synergistic action of cellulase enzyme complex consisting of multiple enzymes with different mode of actions. Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose is one of the bottlenecks in the commercialization of the process due to low hydrolysis rates and high cost of enzymes. A robust hydrolysis model that can predict hydrolysis profile under various scenarios can act as an important forecasting tool to improve the hydrolysis process. However, multiple factors affecting hydrolysis: cellulose structure and complex enzyme-substrate interactions during hydrolysis make it diffucult to develop mathematical kinetic models that can simulate hydrolysis in presence of multiple enzymes with high fidelity. In this study, a comprehensive hydrolysis model based on stochastic molecular modeling approch in which each hydrolysis event is translated into a discrete event is presented. The model captures the structural features of cellulose, enzyme properties (mode of actions, synergism, inhibition), and most importantly dynamic morphological changes in the substrate that directly affect the enzyme-substrate interactions during hydrolysis. RESULTS: Cellulose was modeled as a group of microfibrils consisting of elementary fibrils bundles, where each elementary fibril was represented as a three dimensional matrix of glucose molecules. Hydrolysis of cellulose was simulated based on Monte Carlo simulation technique. Cellulose hydrolysis results predicted by model simulations agree well with the experimental data from literature. Coefficients of determination for model predictions and experimental values were in the range of 0.75 to 0.96 for Avicel hydrolysis by CBH I action. Model was able to simulate the synergistic action of multiple enzymes during hydrolysis. The model simulations captured the important experimental observations: effect of structural properties, enzyme inhibition and enzyme loadings on the hydrolysis and degree of synergism among enzymes. CONCLUSIONS: The model was effective in capturing the dynamic behavior of cellulose hydrolysis during action of individual as well as multiple cellulases. Simulations were in qualitative and quantitative agreement with experimental data. Several experimentally observed phenomena were simulated without the need for any additional assumptions or parameter changes and confirmed the validity of using the stochastic molecular modeling approach to quantitatively and qualitatively describe the cellulose hydrolysis.
Project description:The hydrolysis of Whatman no. 1 filter paper by purified cellulolytic components from Trichoderma reesei and the synergistic action of binary combinations of these enzymes on the same substrate were investigated. At 20 milligrams filter paper, enzyme concentrations needed to obtain half-maximal hydrolysis rates (KE values) were in the 3-4 microM range for the cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) and 0.05-0.10 microM for the endoglucanases (EGs). Catalytic-core proteins of CBH I and EG III, lacking the cellulose-binding domain, exhibit KE values 2.3 and 5.1 times higher than those of the intact enzymes. In synergistic combinations of two cellulases, the KE value of at least one enzyme was 3-10-fold reduced. CBH I/CBH II and CBH I/EG III combinations showed the most powerful synergism, and optimal ratios were a function of the total protein concentration. Results obtained in activity and adsorption assays using filter paper pretreated with one component, followed by inactivation and subsequent hydrolysis with the same or another cellulase component, point to a sequential enzymic attack of the cellulose and seems consistent with the mathematical model presented.
Project description:A relationship between processivity and synergism has not been reported for cellulases, although both characteristics are very important for hydrolysis of insoluble substrates. Mutation of two residues located in the active site tunnel of Thermobifida fusca exocellulase Cel6B increased processivity on filter paper. Surprisingly, mixtures of the Cel6B mutant enzymes and T. fusca endocellulase Cel5A did not show increased synergism or processivity, and the mutant enzyme which had the highest processivity gave the poorest synergism. This study suggests that improving exocellulase processivity might be not an effective strategy for producing improved cellulase mixtures for biomass conversion. The inverse relationship between the activities of many of the mutant enzymes with bacterial microcrystalline cellulose and their activities with carboxymethyl cellulose indicated that there are differences in the mechanisms of hydrolysis for these substrates, supporting the possibility of engineering Cel6B to target selected substrates.
Project description:Synergistic cooperation of different enzymes is a prerequisite for efficient degradation of cellulose. The conventional mechanistic interpretation of the synergism between randomly acting endoglucanases (EGs) and chain end-specific processive cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) is that EG-generated new chain ends on cellulose surface serve as starting points for CBHs. Here we studied the hydrolysis of bacterial cellulose (BC) by CBH TrCel7A and EG TrCel5A from Trichoderma reesei under both single-turnover and "steady state" conditions. Unaccountable by conventional interpretation, the presence of EG increased the rate constant of TrCel7A-catalyzed hydrolysis of BC in steady state. At optimal enzyme/substrate ratios, the "steady state" rate of synergistic hydrolysis became limited by the velocity of processive movement of TrCel7A on BC. A processivity value of 66 ± 7 cellobiose units measured for TrCel7A on (14)C-labeled BC was close to the leveling off degree of polymerization of BC, suggesting that TrCel7A cannot pass through the amorphous regions on BC and stalls. We propose a mechanism of endo-exo synergism whereby the degradation of amorphous regions by EG avoids the stalling of TrCel7A and leads to its accelerated recruitment. Hydrolysis of pretreated wheat straw suggested that this mechanism of synergism is operative also in the degradation of lignocellulose. Although both mechanisms of synergism are used in parallel, the contribution of conventional mechanism is significant only at high enzyme/substrate ratios.
Project description:The hydrolysis of cellulose by processive cellulases, such as exocellulase TrCel7A from Trichoderma reesei, is typically characterized by an initial burst of high activity followed by a slowdown, often leading to incomplete hydrolysis of the substrate. The origins of these limitations to cellulose hydrolysis are not yet fully understood. Here, we propose a new model for the initial phase of cellulose hydrolysis by processive cellulases, incorporating a bound but inactive enzyme state. The model, based on ordinary differential equations, accurately reproduces the activity burst and the subsequent slowdown of the cellulose hydrolysis and describes the experimental data equally well or better than the previously suggested model. We also derive steady-state expressions that can be used to describe the pseudo-steady state reached after the initial activity burst. Importantly, we show that the new model predicts the existence of an optimal enzyme-substrate affinity at which the pseudo-steady state hydrolysis rate is maximized. The model further allows the calculation of glucose production rate from the first cut in the processive run and reproduces the second activity burst commonly observed upon new enzyme addition. These results are expected to be applicable also to other processive enzymes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Filamentous fungi are among the most powerful cellulolytic organisms in terrestrial ecosystems. To perform the degradation of lignocellulosic substrates, these microorganisms employ both hydrolytic and oxidative mechanisms that involve the secretion and synergism of a wide variety of enzymes. Interactions between these enzymes occur on the level of saccharification, i.e., the release of neutral and oxidized products, but sometimes also reflected in the substrate liquefaction. Although the synergism regarding the yield of neutral sugars has been extensively studied, further studies should focus on the oxidized sugars, as well as the effect of enzyme combinations on the viscosity properties of the substrates. RESULTS:In the present study, the heterologous expression of an endoglucanase (EG) and its combined activity together with a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO), both from the thermophilic fungus Myceliophthora thermophila, are described. The EG gene, belonging to the glycoside hydrolase family 5, was functionally expressed in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. The produced MtEG5A (75 kDa) featured remarkable thermal stability and showed high specific activity on microcrystalline cellulose compared to CMC, which is indicative of its processivity properties. The enzyme was capable of releasing high amounts of cellobiose from wheat straw, birch, and spruce biomass. Addition of MtLPMO9 together with MtEG5A showed enhanced enzymatic hydrolysis yields against regenerated amorphous cellulose (PASC) by improving the release not only of the neutral but also of the oxidized sugars. Assessment of activity of MtEG5A on the reduction of viscosity of PASC and pretreated wheat straw using dynamic viscosity measurements revealed that the enzyme is able to perform liquefaction of the model substrate and the natural lignocellulosic material, while when added together with MtLPMO9, no further synergistic effect was observed. CONCLUSIONS:The endoglucanase MtEG5A from the thermophilic fungus M. thermophila exhibited excellent properties that render it a suitable candidate for use in biotechnological applications. Its strong synergism with LPMO was reflected in sugars release, but not in substrate viscosity reduction. Based on the level of oxidative sugar formation, this is the first indication of synergy between LPMO and EG reported.
Project description:Background:Enzymatic hydrolysis is a major step for cellulosic ethanol production. A thorough understanding of enzymatic hydrolysis is necessary to help design optimal conditions and economical systems. The original HCH-1 (Holtzapple-Caram-Humphrey-1) model is a generalized mechanistic model for enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis, but was previously applied only to the initial rates. In this study, the original HCH-1 model was modified to describe integrated enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis. The relationships between parameters in the HCH-1 model and substrate conversion were investigated. Literature models for long-term (> 48 h) enzymatic hydrolysis were summarized and compared to the modified HCH-1 model. Results:A modified HCH-1 model was developed for long-term (> 48 h) enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis. This modified HCH-1 model includes the following additional considerations: (1) relationships between coefficients and substrate conversion, and (2) enzyme stability. Parameter estimation was performed with 10-day experimental data using α-cellulose as substrate. The developed model satisfactorily describes integrated cellulose hydrolysis data taken with various reaction conditions (initial substrate concentration, initial product concentration, enzyme loading, time). Mechanistic (and semi-mechanistic) literature models for long-term enzymatic hydrolysis were compared with the modified HCH-1 model and evaluated by the corrected version of the Akaike information criterion. Comparison results show that the modified HCH-1 model provides the best fit for enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis. Conclusions:The HCH-1 model was modified to extend its application to integrated enzymatic hydrolysis; it performed well when predicting 10-day cellulose hydrolysis at various experimental conditions. Comparison with the literature models showed that the modified HCH-1 model provided the best fit.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Enzymatic removal of hemicellulose components such as xylan is an important factor for maintaining high glucose conversion from lignocelluloses subjected to low-severity pretreatment. Supplementation of xylanase in the cellulase mixture enhances glucose release from pretreated lignocellulose. Filamentous fungi produce multiple xylanases in their cellulase system, and some of them have modular structures consisting of a catalytic domain and a family 1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM1). However, the role of CBM1 in xylanase in the synergistic hydrolysis of lignocellulose has not been investigated in depth. RESULTS: Thermostable endo-β-1,4-xylanase (Xyl10A) from Talaromyces cellulolyticus, which is recognized as one of the core enzymes in the fungal cellulase system, has a modular structure consisting of a glycoside hydrolase family 10 catalytic domain and CBM1 at the C-terminus separated by a linker region. Three recombinant Xyl10A variants, that is, intact Xyl10A (Xyl10Awt), CBM1-deleted Xyl10A (Xyl10AdC), and CBM1 and linker region-deleted Xyl10A (Xyl10AdLC), were constructed and overexpressed in T. cellulolyticus. Cellulose-binding ability of Xyl10A CBM1 was demonstrated using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. Xyl10AdC and Xyl10AdLC showed relatively high catalytic activities for soluble and insoluble xylan substrates, whereas Xyl10Awt was more effective in xylan hydrolysis of wet disc-mill treated rice straw (WDM-RS). The enzyme mixture of cellulase monocomponents and intact or mutant Xyl10A enhanced the hydrolysis of WDM-RS glucan, with the most efficient synergism found in the interactions with Xyl10Awt. The increased glucan hydrolysis yield exhibited a linear relationship with the xylan hydrolysis yield by each enzyme. This relationship revealed significant hydrolysis of WDM-RS glucan with lower supplementation of Xyl10Awt. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that Xyl10A CBM1 has the following two roles in synergistic hydrolysis of lignocellulose by Xyl10A and cellulases: enhancement of lignocellulosic xylan hydrolysis by binding to cellulose, and the efficient removal of xylan obstacles that interrupt the cellulase activity (because of similar binding target of CBM1). The combination of CBM-containing cellulases and xylanases in a fugal cellulase system could contribute to reduction of the enzyme loading in the hydrolysis of pretreated lignocelluloses.
Project description:Two immunologically unrelated cellobiohydrolases (I and II), isolated from the extracellular cellulase system elaborated by the fungus Penicillum pinophilum, acted in synergism to solubilize the microcrystalline cellulose Avicel; the ratio of the two enzymes for maximum rate of attack was approx. 1:1. A hypothesis to explain the phenomenon of synergism between two endwise-acting cellobiohydrolases is presented. It is suggested that the cellobiohydrolases may be two stereospecific enzymes concerned with the hydrolysis of the two different configurations of non-reducing end groups that would exist in cellulose. Only one type of cellobiohydrolase has been isolated so far from the cellulases of the fungi Fusarium solani and Trichoderma koningii. Only cellobiohydrolase II of P. pinophilum acted synergistically with the cellobiohydrolase of the fungi T. koningii or F. solani to solubilize Avicel. Cellobiohydrolase II showed no capacity for co-operating with the endo-1,4-beta-glucanase of T. koningii or F. solani to solubilize crystalline cellulose, but cellobiohydrolase I did. These results are discussed in the context of the hypothesis presented.
Project description:Auxiliary activity family 9 (AA9, formerly known as glycoside hydrolase family 61 or polysaccharide monooxygenase) is a group of fungal proteins that were recently found to have a significant synergism with cellulase in cellulose hydrolysis via the oxidative cleavage of glycosidic bonds of cellulose chains. In this study, we report the active expression of a recombinant fungal AA9 from Chaetomium globosum (CgAA9) in a bacterial host, Escherichia coli, and the optimization of its synergistic activity in cellulose hydrolysis by using cellulase. The recombinant CgAA9 (0.9 mg/g cellulose) exhibited 1.7-fold synergism in the hydrolysis of Avicel when incubated with 0.9 filter paper units of Celluclast 1.5 L/g cellulose. The first study of the active expression of AA9 using a bacterial host and its synergistic optimization could be useful for the industrial application of AA9 for the saccharification of lignocellulose.
Project description:A comprehensive picture of structural changes of cellulosic biomass during enzymatic hydrolysis is essential for a better understanding of enzymatic actions and development of more efficient enzymes. In this study, a suite of analytical techniques including sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were employed for lignin-free model biomass samples--Avicel, bleached softwood, and bacterial cellulose--to find correlations between the decrease in hydrolysis rate over time and the structural or chemical changes of biomass during the hydrolysis reaction. The results showed that the decrease in hydrolysis rate over time appears to correlate with the irreversible deposition of non-cellulosic species (either reaction side products or denatured enzymes, or both) on the cellulosic substrate surface. The crystallinity, degree of polymerization, and meso-scale packing of cellulose do not seem to positively correlate with the decrease in hydrolysis rate observed for all three substrates tested in this study. It was also found that the cellulose Iα component of the bacterial cellulose is preferentially hydrolyzed by the enzyme than the cellulose Iβ component.