Inhibitory effect of lignin during cellulose bioconversion: The effect of lignin chemistry on non-productive enzyme adsorption

Jenni Rahikainen (Corresponding Author), R. Martin-Sampedro, Harri Heikkinen, Stella Rovio, Kaisa Marjamaa, Tarja Tamminen, O.J. Rojas, Kristiina Kruus

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The effect of lignin as an inhibitory biopolymer for the enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass was studied; specially addressing the role of lignin in non-productive enzyme adsorption. Botanical origin and biomass pre-treatment give rise to differences in lignin structure and the effect of these differences on enzyme binding and inhibition were elucidated. Lignin was isolated from steam explosion (SE) pre-treated and non-treated spruce and wheat straw and used for the preparation of ultrathin films for enzyme binding studies. Binding of Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (CBHI) and the corresponding Cel7A-core, lacking the linker and the cellulose-binding domain, to the lignin films was monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). SE pre-treatment altered the lignin structure, leading to increased enzyme adsorption. Thus, the positive effect of SE pre-treatment, opening the cell wall matrix to make polysaccharides more accessible, may be compromised by the structural changes of lignin that increase non-productive enzyme adsorption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • carbohydrate binding module
  • cellulase binding
  • lignin
  • steam explosion pre-treatment
  • trichoderma reesei Cel7A

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