Engineering of a multifunctional hemicellulase

Zhanmin Fan, Joshua R. Werkman, Ling Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


To engineer a multifunctional xylan-degrading enzyme, a chimera was created by fusing the xylanase domain of the Clostridium thermocellum xylanase (xynZ) and a dual functional arabinofuranosidase/xylosidase (DeAFc; from a compost starter mixture) through a flexible peptide linker. The xylanase domain of xynZ possesses previously unreported endoglucanase activity. The chimera, possessing the activities of xylanase, endoglucanase, arabinofuranosidase and xylosidase, was expressed in E. coli and purified. The chimera closely resembled the parental enzymes in pH, temperature optima and kinetics, and was more active than the parental enzyme mixture in the hydrolysis of natural xylans and corn stover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-757
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Drs. K. Wagschal and C. Lee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for providing the DeAFc gene, technical support and helpful discussions. We also thank Dr. I. Maiti of the University of Kentucky for providing the Xyln gene and Dr. M. Montross for supplying the corn stover substrates. This work is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to L.Y. (2006-35504-17413).


  • Arabinoxylans
  • Biomass conversion
  • Enzyme engineering
  • Hemicellulases
  • Multifunctional enzymes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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