Exploration of three Dyadobacter fermentans enzymes uncovers molecular activity determinants in CE15
Journal article, 2024

Glucuronoyl esterases (GEs) are serine-type hydrolase enzymes belonging to carbohydrate esterase family 15 (CE15), and they play a central role in the reduction of recalcitrance in plant cell walls by cleaving ester linkages between glucuronoxylan and lignin in lignocellulose. Recent studies have suggested that bacterial CE15 enzymes are more heterogeneous in terms of sequence, structure, and substrate preferences than their fungal counterparts. However, the sequence space of bacterial GEs has still not been fully explored, and further studies on diverse enzymes could provide novel insights into new catalysts of biotechnological interest. To expand our knowledge on this family of enzymes, we investigated three unique CE15 members encoded by Dyadobacter fermentans NS114T, a Gram-negative bacterium found endophytically in maize/corn (Zea mays). The enzymes are dissimilar, sharing ≤ 39% sequence identity to each other' and were considerably different in their activities towards synthetic substrates. Combined analysis of their primary sequences and structural predictions aided in establishing hypotheses regarding specificity determinants within CE15, and these were tested using enzyme variants attempting to shift the activity profiles. Together, the results expand our existing knowledge of CE15, shed light into the molecular determinants defining specificity, and support the recent thesis that diverse GEs encoded by a single microorganism may have evolved to fulfil different physiological functions. KEY POINTS: • D. fermentans encodes three CE15 enzymes with diverse sequences and specificities • The Region 2 inserts in bacterial GEs may directly influence enzyme activity • Rational amino acid substitutions improved the poor activity of the DfCE15A enzyme.





Glucuronoyl esterase


Miriam Carbonaro

University of Naples Federico II

Scott Mazurkewich

Chalmers, Life Sciences, Industrial Biotechnology

Gabriella Fiorentino

University of Naples Federico II

L. Lo Leggio

University of Copenhagen

Johan Larsbrink

Chalmers, Life Sciences, Industrial Biotechnology

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

0175-7598 (ISSN) 1432-0614 (eISSN)

Vol. 108 1 335

Towards complete cleavage of lignin-carbohydrate bonds

Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF21OC0071611), 2022-01-01 -- 2024-12-31.

Subject Categories

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Structural Biology





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