5 Matching Results

Search Results

Advanced search parameters have been applied.

Final Report for Award DE-FG02-06ER64291

Description: The original goal of this award was to develop a proteoglycan 'chip' containing suitable oligosaccharides that could be used as substrates for glycosyltransferases involved in synthesis or proteoglycans in higher plant cell walls. We had previously developed a suite of cloned enzymes that could be used to cleave most of the relevant glycosidic linkages in plant cell walls. The next step, supported by the previous award and this award, was to produce a series of transgenic plants in which synthetic proteins were introduced that contained each of the known sequence motifs that induce prolyl hydroxylation, and subsequent glycosylation. This work was completed and published in Estevez et al (2006). We then engaged on a series of experiments to define the properties of the prolyl hydroxylases that convert certain prolyl resides to hydroxyproline for subsequent glycosylation. This proved to be a challenging goal that required recruitment of an international team of complementary skills and several additional years of research. However, the effort was successful and has been published in Science recently (Velasquez et al., 2011). In the course of this project, the postdoc supported by the award (Jose Estevez) was asked to provide technical assistance to a colleague at Stanford because of his expertise in marine polysaccharides. This led to the important discovery that marine algae have compounds that could be classified as lignin (Martone et al., 2009).
Date: December 6, 2011
Creator: Somerville, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Glycosylation Helps Cellulase Enzymes Bind to Plant Cell Walls (Fact Sheet)

Description: Computer simulations suggest a new strategy to design enhanced enzymes for biofuels production. Large-scale computer simulations predict that the addition of glycosylation on carbohydrate-binding modules can dramatically improve the binding affinity of these protein domains over amino acid mutations alone. These simulations suggest that glycosylation can be used as a protein engineering tool to enhance the activity of cellulase enzymes, which are a key component in the conversion of cellulose to soluble sugars in the production of biofuels. Glycosylation is the covalent attachment of carbohydrate molecules to protein side chains, and is present in many proteins across all kingdoms of life. Moreover, glycosylation is known to serve a wide variety of functions in biological recognition, cell signaling, and metabolism. Cellulase enzymes, which are responsible for deconstructing cellulose found in plant cell walls to glucose, contain glycosylation that when modified can affect enzymatic activity-often in an unpredictable manner. To gain insight into the role of glycosylation on cellulase activity, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) used computer simulation to predict that adding glycosylation on the carbohydrate-binding module of a cellulase enzyme dramatically boosts the binding affinity to cellulose-more than standard protein engineering approaches in which amino acids are mutated. Because it is known that higher binding affinity in cellulases leads to higher activity, this work suggests a new route to designing enhanced enzymes for biofuels production. More generally, this work suggests that tuning glycosylation in cellulase enzymes is a key factor to consider when engineering biochemical conversion processes, and that more work is needed to understand how glycosylation affects cellulase activity at the molecular level.
Date: June 1, 2012
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department