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Published November 2011 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

A structural study of Hypocrea jecorina Cel5A


Interest in generating lignocellulosic biofuels through enzymatic hydrolysis continues to rise as nonrenewable fossil fuels are depleted. The high cost of producing cellulases, hydrolytic enzymes that cleave cellulose into fermentable sugars, currently hinders economically viable biofuel production. Here, we report the crystal structure of a prevalent endoglucanase in the biofuels industry, Cel5A from the filamentous fungus Hypocrea jecorina. The structure reveals a general fold resembling that of the closest homolog with a high-resolution structure, Cel5A from Thermoascus aurantiacus. Consistent with previously described endoglucanase structures, the H. jecorina Cel5A active site contains a primarily hydrophobic substrate binding groove and a series of hydrogen bond networks surrounding two catalytic glutamates. The reported structure, however, demonstrates stark differences between side-chain identity, loop regions, and the number of disulfides. Such structural information may aid efforts to improve the stability of this protein for industrial use while maintaining enzymatic activity through revealing nonessential and immutable regions.

Additional Information

© 2011 The Protein Society. Published by Wiley-Blackwell. Received 2 July 2011; Revised 19 August 2011; Accepted 22 August 2011. Published online 6 September 2011. Grant sponsors: DARPA Protein Design Processes, DoD National Security Science and Engineering Faculty, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and UNCF/Merck. The authors acknowledge the use of beamline 12-2 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) in Menlo Park, CA operated by Stanford University and supported by the Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health. They additionally acknowledge Jens Kaiser and Pavle Niklovski at the California Institute of Technology for their advice. They thank the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for support of the Molecular Observatory at Caltech.

Attached Files

Published - Lee2011p16209Protein_Sci.pdf

Supplemental Material - PRO_730_sm_SuppInfo.doc


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