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Understanding How Noncatalytic Carbohydrate Binding Modules Can Display Specificity for Xyloglucan

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Max Temple, Dr Artur Rogowski, Dr Arnaud Basle, Emeritus Professor Harry Gilbert



Plant biomass is central to the carbon cycle and to environmentally sustainable industries exemplified by the biofuel sector. Plant cell wall degrading enzymes generally contain noncatalytic carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) that fulfil a targeting function, which enhances catalysis. CBMs that bind beta-glucan chains often display broad specificity recognizing beta 1,4-glucans (cellulose), beta 1,3-beta 1,4-mixed linked glucans and xyloglucan, a beta 1,4-glucan decorated with beta 1,6-xylose residues, by targeting structures common to the three polysaccharides. Thus, CBMs that recognize xyloglucan target the beta 1,4-glucan backbone and only accommodate the xylose decorations. Here we show that two closely related CBMs, CBM65A and CBM65B, derived from EcCel5A, a Eubacterium cellulosolvens endoglucanase, bind to a range of beta-glucans but, uniquely, display significant preference for xyloglucan. The structures of the two CBMs reveal a beta-sandwich fold. The ligand binding site comprises the beta-sheet that forms the concave surface of the proteins. Binding to the backbone chains of beta-glucans is mediated primarily by five aromatic residues that also make hydrophobic interactions with the xylose side chains of xyloglucan, conferring the distinctive specificity of the CBMs for the decorated polysaccharide. Significantly, and in contrast to other CBMs that recognize beta-glucans, CBM65A utilizes different polar residues to bind cellulose and mixed linked glucans. Thus, Gln(106) is central to cellulose recognition, but is not required for binding to mixed linked glucans. This report reveals the mechanism by which beta-glucan-specific CBMs can distinguish between linear and mixed linked glucans, and show how these CBMs can exploit an extensive hydrophobic platform to target the side chains of decorated beta-glucans.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Luis AS, Venditto I, Temple MJ, Rogowski A, Basle A, Xue J, Knox JP, Prates JAM, Ferreira LMA, Fontes CMGA, Najmudin S, Gilbert HJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2013

Volume: 288

Issue: 7

Pages: 4799-4809

Print publication date: 10/12/2012

Date deposited: 03/07/2013

ISSN (print): 0021-9258

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.432781


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Funder referenceFunder name
263916European Union Seventh Framework Programme under the WallTraC project
BB/K001949/1Biochemical and Biotechnological Research Council
PTDC/BIA-PRO/103980/2008Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia
PTDC/BIA-PRO/69732/2006Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia
WT097907MAWellcome Research Trust