Fungal Ferulic Acid Esterases – Specificity and Phylogeny
Conference poster, 2009
Ferulic Acid Esterases (FAE) is a large heterogeneous group of enzymes with activity on esters of hydroxy- and metoxy- substituted cinnamic acid derivatives, such as ferulic acid. These ester bonds occur in the cell walls of plants and are especially common in grasses. As little systematic knowledge has been collected about this group of enzymes and only a few enzymes have been biochemically characterised to date, we have explored the phylogeny of FAEs using bioinformatic tools. We can conclude that the known Ferulic Acid Esterases belong to several evolutionary distant groups, two of which have dozens of highly related sequences, and a few groups with no members other than the known enzyme. The phylogeny also suggests certain similarities of substrate specificity within groups and proposes enzymes, whose biochemical characterisation would be especially informative for our understanding of the FAE families.
Ferulic Acid Esterase