Origin, evolution, and divergence of plant class C GH9 endoglucanases.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Glycoside hydrolases of the GH9 family encode cellulases that predominantly function as endoglucanases and have wide applications in the food, paper, pharmaceutical, and biofuel industries. The partitioning of plant GH9 endoglucanases, into classes A, B, and C, is based on the differential presence of transmembrane, signal peptide, and the carbohydrate binding module (CBM49). There is considerable debate on the distribution and the functions of these enzymes which may vary in different organisms. In light of these findings we examined the origin, emergence, and subsequent divergence of plant GH9 endoglucanases, with an emphasis on elucidating the role of CBM49 in the digestion of crystalline cellulose by class C members. RESULTS:Since, the digestion of crystalline cellulose mandates the presence of a well-defined set of aromatic and polar amino acids and/or an attributable domain that can mediate this conversion, we hypothesize a vertical mode of transfer of genes that could favour the emergence of class C like GH9 endoglucanase activity in land plants from potentially ancestral non plant taxa. We demonstrated the concomitant occurrence of a GH9 domain with CBM49 and other homologous carbohydrate binding modules, in putative endoglucanase sequences from several non-plant taxa. In the absence of comparable full length CBMs, we have characterized several low strength patterns that could approximate the CBM49, thereby, extending support for digestion of crystalline cellulose to other segments of the protein. We also provide data suggestive of the ancestral role of putative class C GH9 endoglucanases in land plants, which includes detailed phylogenetics and the presence and subsequent loss of CBM49, transmembrane, and signal peptide regions in certain populations of early land plants. These findings suggest that classes A and B of modern vascular land plants may have emerged by diverging directly from CBM49 encompassing putative class C enzymes. CONCLUSION:Our detailed phylogenetic and bioinformatics analysis of putative GH9 endoglucanase sequences across major taxa suggests that plant class C enzymes, despite their recent discovery, could function as the last common ancestor of classes A and B. Additionally, research into their ability to digest or inter-convert crystalline and amorphous forms of cellulose could make them lucrative candidates for engineering biofuel feedstock.
Project description:Biofuels such as ?-valerolactone, bioethanol, and biodiesel are derived from potentially fermentable cellulose and vegetable oils. Plant class C GH9 endoglucanases are CBM49-encompassing hydrolases that cleave the ? (1???4) glycosidic linkage of contiguous D-glucopyranose residues of crystalline cellulose. Here, I analyse 3D-homology models of characterised and putative class C enzymes to glean insights into the contribution of the GH9, linker, and CBM49 to the mechanism(s) of crystalline cellulose digestion. Crystalline cellulose may be accommodated in a surface groove which is imperfectly bounded by the GH9_CBM49, GH9_linker, and linker_CBM49 surfaces and thence digested in a solvent accessible subsurface cavity. The physical dimensions and distortions thereof, of the groove, are mediated in part by the bulky side chains of aromatic amino acids that comprise it and may also result in a strained geometry of the bound cellulose polymer. These data along with an almost complete absence of measurable cavities, along with poorly conserved, hydrophobic, and heterogeneous amino acid composition, increased atomic motion of the CBM49_linker junction, and docking experiements with ligands of lower degrees of polymerization suggests a modulatory rather than direct role for CBM49 in catalysis. Crystalline cellulose is the de facto substrate for CBM-containing plant and non-plant GH9 enzymes, a finding supported by exceptional sequence- and structural-homology. However, despite the implied similarity in general acid-base catalysis of crystalline cellulose, this study also highlights qualitative differences in substrate binding and glycosidic bond cleavage amongst class C members. Results presented may aid the development of novel plant-based GH9 endoglucanases that could extract and utilise potential fermentable carbohydrates from biomass. Graphical Abstract Crystalline cellulose digestion by plant class C GH9 endoglucanases - an in silico assessment of function.
Project description:The glycoside hydrolase 9 superfamily, mainly comprising the endoglucanases, is represented in all three domains of life. The current division of GH9 enzymes, into three subclasses, namely A, B, and C, is centered on parameters derived from sequence information alone. However, this classification is ambiguous, and is limited by the paralogous ancestry of classes B and C endoglucanases, and paucity of biochemical and structural data. Here, we extend this classification schema to putative GH9 endoglucanases present in green plants, with an emphasis on identifying novel members of the class C subset. These enzymes cleave the ?(1 ? 4) linkage between non-terminal adjacent D-glucopyranose residues, in both, amorphous and crystalline regions of cellulose. We utilized non redundant plant GH9 enzymes with characterized molecular data, as the training set to construct Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) and train an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The parameters that were used for predicting dominant enzyme function, were derived from this training set, and subsequently refined on 147 sequences with available expression data. Our knowledge-based approach, can ascribe differential endoglucanase activity (A, B, or C) to a query sequence with high confidence, and was used to construct a local repository of class C GH9 endoglucanases (GH9C = 241) from 32 sequenced green plants.
Project description:The soil bacterium Cytophaga hutchinsonii actively digests crystalline cellulose by a poorly understood mechanism. Genome analyses identified nine genes predicted to encode endoglucanases with roles in this process. No predicted cellobiohydrolases, which are usually involved in the utilization of crystalline cellulose, were identified. Chromosomal deletions were performed in eight of the endoglucanase-encoding genes: cel5A, cel5B, cel5C, cel9A, cel9B, cel9C, cel9E, and cel9F Each mutant retained the ability to digest crystalline cellulose, although the deletion of cel9C caused a modest decrease in cellulose utilization. Strains with multiple deletions were constructed to identify the critical cellulases. Cells of a mutant lacking both cel5B and cel9C were completely deficient in growth on cellulose. Cell fractionation and biochemical analyses indicate that Cel5B and Cel9C are periplasmic nonprocessive endoglucanases. The requirement of periplasmic endoglucanases for cellulose utilization suggests that cellodextrins are transported across the outer membrane during this process. Bioinformatic analyses predict that Cel5A, Cel9A, Cel9B, Cel9D, and Cel9E are secreted across the outer membrane by the type IX secretion system, which has been linked to cellulose utilization. These secreted endoglucanases may perform the initial digestion within amorphous regions on the cellulose fibers, releasing oligomers that are transported into the periplasm for further digestion by Cel5B and Cel9C. The results suggest that both cell surface and periplasmic endoglucanases are required for the growth of C. hutchinsonii on cellulose and that novel cell surface proteins may solubilize and transport cellodextrins across the outer membrane.The bacterium Cytophaga hutchinsonii digests crystalline cellulose by an unknown mechanism. It lacks processive cellobiohydrolases that are often involved in cellulose digestion. Critical cellulolytic enzymes were identified by genetic analyses. Intracellular (periplasmic) nonprocessive endoglucanases performed an important role in cellulose utilization. The results suggest a model involving partial digestion at the cell surface, solubilization and uptake of cellodextrins across the outer membrane by an unknown mechanism, and further digestion within the periplasm. The ability to sequester cellodextrins and digest them intracellularly may limit losses of soluble cellobiose to other organisms. C. hutchinsonii uses an unusual approach to digest cellulose and is a potential source of novel proteins to increase the efficiency of conversion of cellulose into soluble sugars and biofuels.
Project description:During growth on crystalline cellulose, the thermophilic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii secretes several cellulose-degrading enzymes. Among these enzymes is CelA (CbCel9A/Cel48A), which is reported as the most highly secreted cellulolytic enzyme in this bacterium. CbCel9A/Cel48A is a large multi-modular polypeptide, composed of an N-terminal catalytic glycoside hydrolase family 9 (GH9) module and a C-terminal GH48 catalytic module that are separated by a family 3c carbohydrate-binding module (CBM3c) and two identical CBM3bs. The wild-type CbCel9A/Cel48A and its truncational mutants were expressed in Bacillus megaterium and Escherichia coli, respectively. The wild-type polypeptide released twice the amount of glucose equivalents from Avicel than its truncational mutant that lacks the GH48 catalytic module. The truncational mutant harboring the GH9 module and the CBM3c was more thermostable than the wild-type protein, likely due to its compact structure. The main hydrolytic activity was present in the GH9 catalytic module, while the truncational mutant containing the GH48 module and the three CBMs was ineffective in degradation of either crystalline or amorphous cellulose. Interestingly, the GH9 and/or GH48 catalytic modules containing the CBM3bs form low-density particles during hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose. Moreover, TM3 (GH9/CBM3c) and TM2 (GH48 with three CBM3 modules) synergistically hydrolyze crystalline cellulose. Deletion of the CBM3bs or mutations that compromised their binding activity suggested that these CBMs are important during hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose. In agreement with this observation, seven of nine genes in a C. bescii gene cluster predicted to encode cellulose-degrading enzymes harbor CBM3bs. Based on our results, we hypothesize that C. bescii uses the GH48 module and the CBM3bs in CbCel9A/Cel48A to destabilize certain regions of crystalline cellulose for attack by the highly active GH9 module and other endoglucanases produced by this hyperthermophilic bacterium.
Project description:A metabolic isotope-labeling strategy was used in conjunction with nano-liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry peptide sequencing to assess quantitative alterations in the expression patterns of subunits within cellulosomes of the cellulolytic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum, grown on either cellulose or cellobiose. In total, 41 cellulosomal proteins were detected, including 36 type I dockerin-containing proteins, which count among them all but three of the known docking components and 16 new subunits. All differential expression data were normalized to the scaffoldin CipA such that protein per cellulosome was compared for growth between the two substrates. Proteins that exhibited higher expression in cellulosomes from cellulose-grown cells than in cellobiose-grown cells were the cell surface anchor protein OlpB, exoglucanases CelS and CelK, and the glycoside hydrolase family 9 (GH9) endoglucanase CelJ. Conversely, lower expression in cellulosomes from cells grown on cellulose than on cellobiose was observed for the GH8 endoglucanase CelA; GH5 endoglucanases CelB, CelE, CelG; and hemicellulases XynA, XynC, XynZ, and XghA. GH9 cellulases were the most abundant group of enzymes per CipA when cells were grown on cellulose, while hemicellulases were the most abundant group on cellobiose. The results support the existing theory that expression of scaffoldin-related proteins is coordinately regulated by a catabolite repression type of mechanism, as well as the prior observation that xylanase expression is subject to a growth rate-independent type of regulation. However, concerning transcriptional control of cellulases, which had also been previously shown to be subject to catabolite repression, a novel distinction was observed with respect to endoglucanases.
Project description:The increasing demands of renewable energy have led to the critical emphasis on novel enzymes to enhance cellulose biodegradation for biomass conversion. To identify new cellulases in the ruminal bacterium Fibrobacter succinogenes, a cell extract of cellulose-grown cells was separated by ion-exchange chromatography and cellulases were located by zymogram analysis and identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. An atypical family 9 glycoside hydrolase (GH9), Cel9D, with less than 20% identity to typical GH9 cellulases, was identified. Purified recombinant Cel9D enhanced the production of reducing sugar from acid swollen cellulose (ASC) and Avicel by 1.5- to 4-fold when mixed separately with each of four other glucanases, although it had low activity on these substrates. Cel9D degraded ASC and cellodextrins with a degree of polymerization higher than 2 to glucose with no apparent endoglucanase activity, and its activity was restricted to beta-1-->4-linked glucose residues. It catalyzed the hydrolysis of cellulose by an inverting mode of reaction, releasing glucose from the nonreducing end. Unlike many GH9 cellulases, calcium ions were not required for its function. Cel9D had increased kcat/Km values for cello-oligosaccharides with higher degrees of polymerization. The kcat/Km value for cellohexaose was 2,300 times higher than that on cellobiose. This result indicates that Cel9D is a 1,4-beta-D-glucan glucohydrolase (EC 22.214.171.124) in the GH9 family. Site-directed mutagenesis of Cel9D identified Asp166 and Glu612 as the candidate catalytic residues, while Ser168, which is not present in typical GH9 cellulases, has a crucial structural role. This enzyme has an important role in crystalline cellulose digestion by releasing glucose from accessible cello-oligosaccharides.
Project description:Cellulases are traditionally classified as either endoglucanases or cellobiohydrolases on the basis of their respective catalytic activities on crystalline cellulose, which is generally hydrolysed more efficiently only by the cellobiohydrolases. On the basis of the Trichoderma reesei cellobiohydrolase II structure, it was proposed that the active-site tunnel of cellobiohydrolases permitted the processive hydrolysis of cellulose, whereas the corresponding endoglucanases would display open active-site clefts [Rouvinen, Bergfors, Teeri, Knowles and Jones (1990) Science 249, 380-386]. Glycoside hydrolase family 6 contains both cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases. The structure of the catalytic core of the family 6 endoglucanase Cel6B from Humicola insolens has been solved by molecular replacement with the known T. reesei cellobiohydrolase II as the search model. Strangely, at the sequence level, this enzyme exhibits the highest sequence similarity to family 6 cellobiohydrolases and displays just one of the loop deletions traditionally associated with endoglucanases in this family. However, this enzyme shows no activity on crystalline substrates but a high activity on soluble substrates, which is typical of an endoglucanase. The three-dimensional structure reveals that the deletion of just a single loop of the active site, coupled with the resultant conformational change in a second 'cellobiohydrolase-specific' loop, peels open the active-site tunnel to reveal a substrate-binding groove.
Project description:1. Four principal endoglucanase components of Trichoderma koningii cellulase were separated and purified by gel filtration on Sephadex G-75, ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE- and sulphoethyl-Sephadex and isoelectric focusing. 2. All four endoglucanases hydrolysed CM-cellulose, H3PO4-swollen cellulose, cellotetraose and cellopentaose, but differed in the rate and mode of attack. 3. Attack on cotton fibre by the endoglucanases was minimal, but resulted in changes that were manifested by an increased capacity for the uptake of alkali, and a decrease in tensile strength. 4. All four endoglucanases acted synergistically with the exoglucanase [cellobiohydrolase; Wood & McCrae (1972) Biochem. J. 128, 1183-1192] of T. koningii during the early stages of the breakdown of cotton fibre, but only two could produce extensive solubilization of cotton cellulose when acting in admixture with the exoglucanase component. 5. The mode of action of the enzymes is discussed in relation to these synergistic effects. It is suggested that the results are compatible with the interpretation that the 'crystalline' areas of cotton cellulose are hydrolysed only by those endoglucanases capable of forming of forming an enzyme-enzyme complex with the cellobiohydrolase on the surface of the cellulose chains.
Project description:Non-cellulosomal processive endoglucanase 9I (Cel9I) from Clostridium thermocellum is a modular protein, consisting of a family-9 glycoside hydrolase (GH9) catalytic module and two family-3 carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM3c and CBM3b), separated by linker regions. GH9 does not show cellulase activity when expressed without CBM3c and CBM3b and the presence of the CBM3c was previously shown to be essential for endoglucanase activity. Physical reassociation of independently expressed GH9 and CBM3c modules (containing linker sequences) restored 60-70% of the intact Cel9I endocellulase activity. However, the mechanism responsible for recovery of activity remained unclear. In this work we independently expressed recombinant GH9 and CBM3c with and without their interconnecting linker in Escherichia coli. We crystallized and determined the molecular structure of the GH9/linker-CBM3c heterodimer at a resolution of 1.68 Å to understand the functional and structural importance of the mutual spatial orientation of the modules and the role of the interconnecting linker during their re-association. Enzyme activity assays and isothermal titration calorimetry were performed to study and compare the effect of the linker on the re-association. The results indicated that reassembly of the modules could also occur without the linker, albeit with only very low recovery of endoglucanase activity. We propose that the linker regions in the GH9/CBM3c endoglucanases are important for spatial organization and fixation of the modules into functional enzymes.
Project description:The extracellular cellulolytic enzymes of the thermophilic anaerobe Clostridium thermocellum occur as a protein complex or aggregate known as the cellulosome. By using a combination of ion-exchange, adsorption and hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, it was possible to isolate from extracellular broth a specific endoglucanase of interest without the use of denaturants. The endoglucanase was identified as the cellulosomal subunit Ss by the use of specific antibodies. The enzyme has an Mr of 83,000, an isoelectric point of 3.55, optimum pH of 6.6 and optimum temperature of 70 degrees C. It hydrolyses CM-cellulose and, at a higher rate, the cellodextrins, cellotetraose and cellopentaose, but does not hydrolyse a crystalline cellulose such as Avicel. Cellobiose and cellotriose are also immune to attack. It differs from endoglucanases previously isolated by others and a 76,000-Mr endoglucanase recently isolated in this laboratory.