Low-level endoglucanase contamination in a Trichoderma reesei cellobiohydrolase II preparation affects its enzymatic activity on beta-glucan

Tapani Reinikainen, Kirsti Henriksson, Matti Siika-aho, Olle Teleman, Kaisa Poutanen

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A routinely employed and specific affinity chromatography purification method was used to isolate cellobiohydrolase II (CBHII) from a Trichoderma reesei culture supernatant.
Two different identically purified batches of CBHII were found to have distinctly different properties in barley β-glucan hydrolysis. The abilities of the two preparations to produce small oligosaccharides and reduce the viscosity of β-glucan were substantially different, but no contamination or heterogeneity was detected in sodium dodecyl sulfate-electrophoresis used to assess the protein purity. Furthermore, the specific activities of the preparations on cellotetraose substrate were similar.
Careful analysis with specific chromogenic oligosaccharide substrates showed that the considerable variation in β-glucan hydrolysis was caused by a minor endoglucanase contamination consisting of only 0.4% of the total protein.
The contamination is possibly caused by nonspecific interactions between the proteins and chromatographic column material or by unfavorable protein-protein interactions during the chromatographic separation.
The data demonstrate clearly the caution needed in the interpretation of hydrolysis studies on polymeric substrates with cellulolytic enzyme preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-892
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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