Functional characterization of fungal lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases for cellulose surface oxidation

Biotechnol Biofuels Bioprod. 2023 Sep 7;16(1):132. doi: 10.1186/s13068-023-02383-3.


BACKGROUND: Microbial lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) cleave diverse biomass polysaccharides, including cellulose and hemicelluloses, by initial oxidation at C1 or C4 of glycan chains. Within the Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZy) classification, Auxiliary Activity Family 9 (AA9) comprises the first and largest group of fungal LPMOs, which are often also found in tandem with non-catalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs). LPMOs originally attracted attention for their ability to potentiate complete biomass deconstruction to monosaccharides. More recently, LPMOs have been applied for selective surface modification of insoluble cellulose and chitin.

RESULTS: To further explore the catalytic diversity of AA9 LPMOs, over 17,000 sequences were extracted from public databases, filtered, and used to construct a sequence similarity network (SSN) comprising 33 phylogenetically supported clusters. From these, 32 targets were produced successfully in the industrial filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger, 25 of which produced detectable LPMO activity. Detailed biochemical characterization of the eight most highly produced targets revealed individual C1, C4, and mixed C1/C4 regiospecificities of cellulose surface oxidation, different redox co-substrate preferences, and CBM targeting effects. Specifically, the presence of a CBM correlated with increased formation of soluble oxidized products and a more localized pattern of surface oxidation, as indicated by carbonyl-specific fluorescent labeling. On the other hand, LPMOs without native CBMs were associated with minimal release of soluble products and comparatively dispersed oxidation pattern.

CONCLUSIONS: This work provides insight into the structural and functional diversity of LPMOs, and highlights the need for further detailed characterization of individual enzymes to identify those best suited for cellulose saccharification versus surface functionalization toward biomaterials applications.

PMID:37679837 | PMC:PMC10486138 | DOI:10.1186/s13068-023-02383-3


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