Binding isotherms were determined for a set of six synthetic analogues in which conserved amino acids were substituted. Two‐dimensional NMR spectroscopy was used to assess the structural effects of the substitutions by comparing chemical shifts, coupling constants, and NOEs of the backbone protons between the wild‐type CBD and the analogues. In general, the structural effects of the substitutions were minor, although in some cases decreased binding could clearly be ascribed to conformational perturbations.
We found that at least two tyrosine residues and a glutamine residue on the flat face were essential for tight binding of the CBD to cellulose. A change on the rough face had only a small effect on the binding and it is unlikely that this face interacts with cellulose directly.