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Single Binding Mode Integration of Hemicellulose-degrading Enzymes via Adaptor Scaffoldins in Ruminococcus flavefaciens Cellulosome

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Harry Gilbert


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The assembly of one of Nature's most elaborate multienzyme complexes, the cellulosome, results from the binding of enzyme-borne dockerins to reiterated cohesin domains located in a noncatalytic primary scaffoldin. Generally, dockerins present two similar cohesin-binding interfaces that support a dual binding mode. The dynamic integration of enzymes in cellulosomes, afforded by the dual binding mode, is believed to incorporate additional flexibility in highly populated multienzyme complexes. Ruminococcus flavefaciens, the primary degrader of plant structural carbohydrates in the rumen of mammals, uses a portfolio of more than 220 different dockerins to assemble the most intricate cellulosome known to date. A sequence-based analysis organized R. flavefaciens dockerins into six groups. Strikingly, a subset of R. flavefaciens cellulosomal enzymes, comprising dockerins of groups 3 and 6, were shown to be indirectly incorporated into primary scaffoldins via an adaptor scaffoldin termed ScaC. Here, we report the crystal structure of a group 3 R. flavefaciens dockerin, Doc3, in complex with ScaC cohesin. Doc3 is unusual as it presents a large cohesin-interacting surface that lacks the structural symmetry required to support a dual binding mode. In addition, dockerins of groups 3 and 6, which bind exclusively to ScaC cohesin, display a conserved mechanism of protein recognition that is similar to Doc3. Groups 3 and 6 dockerins are predominantly appended to hemicellulose-degrading enzymes. Thus, single binding mode dockerins interacting with adaptor scaffoldins exemplify an evolutionary pathway developed by R. flavefaciens to recruit hemicellulases to the sophisticated cellulosomes acting in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bule P, Alves VD, Leitao A, Ferreira LMA, Bayer EA, Smith SP, Gilbert HJ, Najmudin S, Fontes CMGA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2016

Volume: 291

Issue: 52

Pages: 26658-26669

Print publication date: 23/12/2016

Online publication date: 14/11/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0021-9258

ISSN (electronic): 1083-351X

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


DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M116.761643


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Funder referenceFunder name
PTDC/BIA-MIC/5947/2014Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (Lisbon, Portugal)