Thermobifida fusca exoglucanase Cel6B is incompatible with the cellulosomal mode in contrast to endoglucanase Cel6A

Jonathan Caspi, Yoav Barak, Rachel Haimovitz, Hadar Gilary, Diana C. Irwin, Raphael Lamed, David B. Wilson, Edward A. Bayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cellulosomes are efficient cellulose-degradation systems produced by selected anaerobic bacteria. This multi-enzyme complex is assembled from a group of cellulases attached to a protein scaffold termed scaffoldin, mediated by a high-affinity protein-protein interaction between the enzyme-borne dockerin module and the cohesin module of the scaffoldin. The enzymatic complex is attached as a whole to the cellulosic substrate via a cellulose-binding module (CBM) on the scaffoldin subunit. In previous works, we have employed a synthetic biology approach to convert several of the free cellulases of the aerobic bacterium, Thermobifida fusca, into the cellulosomal mode by replacing each of the enzymes' CBM with a dockerin. Here we show that although family six enzymes are not a part of any known cellulosomal system, the two family six enzymes of the T. fusca system (endoglucanase Cel6A and exoglucanase Cel6B) can be converted to work as cellulosomal enzymes. Indeed, the chimaeric dockerin-containing family six endoglucanase worked well as a cellulosomal enzyme, and proved to be more efficient than the parent enzyme when present in designer cellulosomes. In stark contrast, the chimaeric family six exoglucanase was markedly less efficient than the wild-type enzyme when mixed with other T. fusca cellulases, thus indicating its incompatibility with the cellulosomal mode of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalSystems and Synthetic Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Bioenergy
  • Cellulases
  • Degradation of crystalline cellulose
  • Designer cellulosome
  • Enzyme synergy
  • Substrate targeting and enzyme proximity


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