Clostridium thermocellum produces a consortium of plant-cell-wall hydrolases that form a cell-bound multi-enzyme complex called the cellulosome. In the present study two similar xylanase genes, xynU and xynV, were cloned from C. thermocellum strain YS and sequenced. The deduced primary structures of both xylanases, xylanase U (XylU) and xylanase V (XylV), were homologous with the previously characterized xylanases from C. thermocellum strain F1. Truncated derivatives of XylV were produced and their biochemical properties were characterized. The xylanases were shown to be remarkably thermostable and resistant to proteolytic inactivation. The catalytic domains hydrolysed xylan by a typical endo-mode of action. The type VI cellulose-binding domain (CBD) homologue of XylV bound xylan and, to a smaller extent, Avicel and acid-swollen cellulose. Deletion of the CBD from XylV abolished the capacity of the enzymes to bind polysaccharides. The polysaccharide-binding domain was shown to have a key role in the hydrolysis of insoluble substrates by XylV. The C-terminal domain of XylV, which is absent from XylU, removed acetyl groups from acetylated xylan and acted in synergy with the glycosyl hydrolase catalytic domain of the enzyme to elicit the hydrolysis of acetylated xylan.

This content is only available as a PDF.