Navigation Links
Combining strategies speeds the work of enzymes
Date:5/7/2013

Enzymes could break down cell walls faster leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests.

A paper on the breakthrough, "Fungal Cellulases and Complexed Cellulosomal Enzymes Exhibit Synergistic Mechanisms in Cellulose Deconstruction," appears in the current edition of Energy and Environmental Science. Co-authors include five scientists from NREL and one from the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has set a goal of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel a year in the United States by 2022, including 21 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuel production. One barrier to reaching that goal is the high cost of enzyme treatment, a crucial step in turning the biomass poplar trees, switchgrass, corn stover, and the like into liquid fuel.

Enzymes secreted by microorganisms naturally degrade the cell walls of plants, breaking them down so their sugars can be harvested. But plants have their own survival tricks, including mechanisms to make it harder for the enzymes to break down the cell walls. Those defenses boost the cost of producing biofuels, and have pushed researchers to try to find combinations of enzymes that can do the job faster.

NREL researchers found that two enzyme paradigms free and complexed enzymes use dramatically different mechanisms to degrade biomass at the nanometer scale. Further, they found that mixing the two systems enhances catalytic performance. The findings suggest that there may be an optimal strategy between the two mechanisms one that Nature may already have worked out.

When the two enzyme systems are combined, the substrate changes in unexpected ways and that result suggests the two systems work with each other to deconstruct the cell walls more efficiently. Scientists can use this knowledge to engineer optimal enzyme formulations fast, efficient, single-minded and hungry.

To outmaneuver the plant's survival mechanisms, many microorganisms secrete synergistic cocktails of individual enzymes, with one or several catalytic domains per enzyme. Conversely, some bacteria synthesize large multi-enzyme complexes, called cellulosomes, which contain multiple catalytic units per complex.

While both systems use similar catalytic chemistries, the ways they degrade polysaccharides has been unclear.

NREL researchers found that the free enzymes are more active on pretreated biomass, while the cellulosomes are more active on purified cellulose. Using electron microscopes they found that free enzymes attack the plant cell wall surface by chipping and eroding, helped along by sharpening the thread-like cellulose fibers.

By contrast, the cellulosomes physically separate individual cellulose microfibrils from larger particles to enhance access to the cellulose surfaces. They assemble protein scaffolding to help get the job done.

NREL researchers observed that when the two enzyme systems are combined, the work improves dramatically, likely due to our combining enzymes that evolved naturally, and independently, to do the same job in different ways.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Glickson
david.glickson@nrel.gov
303-275-4097
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Combining two genome analysis approaches supports immune system contribution to autism
2. Trial seeks improved lung-cancer screening by combining imaging and biomarkers
3. Genome study suggests new strategies for understanding and treating pulmonary fibrosis
4. Peach genome offers insights into breeding strategies for biofuels crops
5. University of Maryland School of Medicine discovers adaptations to explain strategies for survival on Mars
6. Climate-smart strategies proposed for spectacular US-Canadian landscape
7. New research on migratory behavior of oceanic whitetip sharks can help shape conservation strategies
8. Dartmouth research offers new control strategies for bipolar bark beetles
9. Whales foraging strategies revealed by new technology
10. New anti-tumor cell therapy strategies are more effective
11. Smart growth strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions, SF State study suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the ... and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The ... of deep learning to create predictive models of cell ... growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer ... available resources created and shared by the Allen Institute ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, ... in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use ... with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ... hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with ... adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased ... of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are ... - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take ...
Breaking Biology Technology: