Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.100, No.5, 2203-2212, 2016
Integration of bacterial expansin-like proteins into cellulosome promotes the cellulose degradation
Cellulosomes are multi-enzyme complexes assembled by cellulases and hemicellulases through dockerin-cohesin interactions, which are the most efficient system for the degradation of lignocellulosic resources in nature. Recent genomic analysis of a cellulosome-producing anaerobe Clostridium clariflavum DSM 19732 revealed that two expansin-like proteins, Clocl_1298 and Clocl_1862, contain a dockerin module, which suggests that they are components of the cellulosome. Bacterial expansin-like proteins do not have hydrolytic activities, but can facilitate the degradation of cellulosic biomass via synergistic effects with cellulases. In this study, the synergistic effect of the expansin-like proteins with both native and designer cellulosomes was investigated. The free expansin-like proteins, including expansin-like domains of Clocl_1298 and Clocl_1862, as well as a well-studied bacterial expansin-like protein BsEXLX1 from Bacillus subtilis, promoted the cellulose degradation by native cellulosomes, indicating the cellulosomal expansin-like proteins have the synergistic function. When they were integrated into a trivalent designer cellulosome, the synergistic effect was further amplified. The sequence and structure analyses indicated that these cellulosomal expansin-like proteins share the conserved functional mechanism with other bacterial expansin-like proteins. These results indicated that non-catalytic expansin-like proteins in the cellulosome can enhance the activity of the cellulosome in lignocellulose degradation. The involvement of functional expansin-like proteins in the cellulosome also implies new physiological functions of bacterial expansin-like proteins and cellulosomes.