Inhibitory effect of lignin on the hydrolysis of xylan by thermophilic and thermolabile GH11 xylanases

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass into platform sugars can be enhanced by the addition of accessory enzymes, such as xylanases. Lignin from steam pretreated biomasses is known to inhibit enzymes by non-productively binding enzymes and limiting access to cellulose. The effect of enzymatically isolated lignin on the hydrolysis of xylan by four glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 11 xylanases was studied. Two xylanases from the mesophilic Trichoderma reesei, TrXyn1, TrXyn2, and two forms of a thermostable metagenomic xylanase Xyl40 were compared.

RESULTS: Lignin isolated from steam pretreated spruce decreased the hydrolysis yields of xylan for all the xylanases at 40 and 50 °C. At elevated hydrolysis temperature of 50 °C, the least thermostable xylanase TrXyn1 was most inhibited by lignin and the most thermostable xylanase, the catalytic domain (CD) of Xyl40, was least inhibited by lignin. Enzyme activity and binding to lignin were studied after incubation of the xylanases with lignin for up to 24 h at 40 °C. All the studied xylanases bound to lignin, but the thermostable xylanases retained 22-39% of activity on the lignin surface for 24 h, whereas the mesophilic T. reesei xylanases become inactive. Removing of N-glycans from the catalytic domain of Xyl40 increased lignin inhibition in hydrolysis of xylan when compared to the glycosylated form. By comparing the 3D structures of these xylanases, features contributing to the increased thermal stability of Xyl40 were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: High thermal stability of xylanases Xyl40 and Xyl40-CD enabled the enzymes to remain partially active on the lignin surface. N-glycosylation of the catalytic domain of Xyl40 increased the lignin tolerance of the enzyme. Thermostability of Xyl40 was most likely contributed by a disulphide bond and salt bridge in the N-terminal and α-helix regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49
JournalBiotechnology for biofuels and bioproducts
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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