Galactomannan structure and β-mannanase and β-mannosidase activity in germinating legume seeds.
McCleary, B. V. & Matheson, N. K. (1975). Phytochemistry, 14(5-6), 1187-1194.
Structural changes in galactomannan on germination of lucerne, carob, honey locust, guar and soybean seeds, as measured by viscosity, elution volumes on gel filtration and ultra-centrifugation were slight consistent with a rapid and complete hydrolysis of a molecule once hydrolysis of the mannan chain starts. β-Mannanase activity increased and then decreased, paralleling galactomannan depletion. Multiple forms of β-mannanase were isolated and these were located in the endosperm. β-Mannanase had limited ability to hydrolyse galactomannans with high galactose contents. Seeds containing these galactomannans had very active α-galactosidases. β-Mannosidases were present in both endosperm and cotyledon-embryo and could be separated chromatographically. The level of activity was just sufficient to account for mannose production from manno-oligosaccharides.
Galactomannans and a galactoglucomannan in legume seed endosperms: Structural requirements for β-mannanase hydrolysis.
McCleary, B. V., Matheson, N. K. & Small, D. B. (1976). Phytochemistry, 15(7), 1111-1117.
A series of galactomannans with varying degrees of galactose substitution have been extracted from the endosperms of legume seeds with water and alkali and the amount of substitution required for water solubility has been determined. Some were heterogeneous with respect to the degree of galactose substitution. The structural requirements for hydrolysis by plant β-mannanase have been studied using the relative rates and extents of hydrolysis of these galactomannans. A more detailed examination of the products of hydrolysis of carob galactomannan has been made. At least two contiguous anhydromannose units appear to be needed for scission. This is similar to the requirement for hydrolysis by microbial enzymes. Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum) endosperm contained a polysaccharide with a unique composition for a legume seed reserve. Gel chromatography and electrophoresis on cellulose acetate indicated homogeneity. Hydrolysis with a mixture of β-mannanase and α-galactosidase gave a glucose-mannose disaccharide and acetolysis gave a galactose-mannose. These results, as well as the pattern of hydrolysis by β-mannanase were consistent with a galactoglucomannan structure.
Modes of action of β-mannanase enzymes of diverse origin on legume seed galactomannans.
McCleary, B. V. (1979). Phytochemistry, 18(5), 757-763.
β-Mannanase activities in the commercial enzyme preparations Driselase and Cellulase, in culture solutions of Bacillus subtilis (TX1), in commercial snail gut (Helix pomatia) preparations and in germinated seeds of lucerne, Leucaena leucocephala and honey locust, have been purified by substrate affinity chromatography on glucomannan-AH-Sepharose. On isoelectric focusing, multiple protein bands were found, all of which had β-mannanase activity. Each preparation appeared as a single major band on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The enzymes varied in their final specific activities, Km values, optimal pH, isoelectric points and pH and temperature stabilities but had similar MWs. The enzymes have different abilities to hydrolyse galactomannans which are highly substituted with galactose. The preparations Driselase and Cellulase contain β-mannanases which can attack highly substituted galactomannans at points of single unsubstituted D-mannosyl residues if the D-galactose residues in the vicinity of the bond to be hydrolysed are all on only one side of the main chain.
An enzymic technique for the quantitation of galactomannan in guar Seeds.
McCleary, B. V. (1981). Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft & Technologie, 14, 56-59.
An enzymic technique has been developed for the rapid and accurate quantitation of the galactomannan content of guar seeds and milling fractions. The technique involves the measurement of the galactose component of galactomannans using galactose dehydrogenase. The galactomannans are converted to galactose and manno-oligosaccharides using partially purified enzymes from a commercial preparation and from germinated guar seeds. Simple procedures have been devised for the preparation of these enzymes. Application of the technique to a number of guar varieties gave values for the galactomannan content ranging from 22.7 to 30.8% of seed weight.
Purification and properties of a β-D-mannoside mannohydrolase from guar.
McCleary, B. V. (1982), Carbohydrate Research, 101(1), 75-92.
A β-D-mannoside mannohydrolase enzyme has been purified to homogeneity from germinated guar-seeds. Difficulties associated with the extraction and purification appeared to be due to an interaction of the enzyme with other protein material. The purified enzyme hydrolysed various natural and synthetic substrates, including β-D-manno-oligosaccharides and reduced β-D-manno-oligosaccharides of degree of polymerisation 2 to 6, as well as p-nitrophenyl, naphthyl, and methylumbelliferyl β-D-mannopyranosides. The preferred, natural substrate was β-D-mannopentaose, which was hydrolysed at twice the rate of β-D-mannotetraose and five times the rate of β-D-mannotriose. This result, together with the observation that α-D-mannose is released on hydrolysis, indicates that the enzyme is an exo-β-D-mannanase.
Preparative–scale isolation and characterisation of 61-α-D-galactosyl-(1→4)-β-D-mannobiose and 62-α-D-galactosyl-(1→4)-β-D-mannobiose.
McCleary, B. V., Taravel, F. R. & Cheetham, N. W. H. (1982). Carbohydrate Research, 104(2), 285-297.
N.m.r., enzymic, and chemical techniques have been used to characterise the D-galactose-containing tri- and tetra-saccharides produced on hydrolysis of carob and L. leucocephala D-galacto-D-mannans by Driselase β-D-mannanase. These oligosaccharides were shown to be exclusively 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannobiose and 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannotriose. Furthermore, these were the only D-galactose-containing tri- and tetra-saccharides produced on hydrolysis of carob D-galacto-D-mannan by β-D-mannanases from other sources, including Bacillus subtilis, Aspergillus niger, Helix pomatia gut solution, and germinated legumes. Acid hydrolysis of lucerne galactomannan yielded 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannobiose and 62-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannobiose.
β-D-mannosidase from Helix pomatia.
McCleary, B. V. (1983). Carbohydrate Research, 111(2), 297-310.
β-D-Mannosidase (β-D-mannoside mannohydrolase EC 22.214.171.124) was purified 160-fold from crude gut-solution of Helix pomatia by three chromatographic steps and then gave a single protein band (mol. wt. 94,000) on SDS-gel electrophoresis, and three protein bands (of almost identical isoelectric points) on thin-layer iso-electric focusing. Each of these protein bands had enzyme activity. The specific activity of the purified enzyme on p-nitrophenyl β-D-mannopyranoside was 1694 nkat/mg at 40° and it was devoid of α-D-mannosidase, β-D-galactosidase, 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-D-glucosidase, (1→4)-β-D-mannanase, and (1→4)-β-D-glucanase activities, almost devoid of α-D-galactosidase activity, and contaminated with <0.02% of β-D-glucosidase activity. The purified enzyme had the same Km for borohydride-reduced β-D-manno-oligosaccharides of d.p. 3-5 (12.5mM). The initial rate of hydrolysis of (1→4)-linked β-D-manno-oligosaccharides of d.p. 2-5 and of reduced β-D-manno-oligosaccharides of d.p. 3-5 was the same, and o-nitrophenyl, methylumbelliferyl, and naphthyl β-D-mannopyranosides were readily hydrolysed. β-D-Mannobiose was hydrolysed at a rate ~25 times that of 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannobiose and 63-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannotetraose, and at ~90 times the rate for β-D-mannobitol.
Enzymic interactions in the hydrolysis of galactomannan in germinating guar: The role of exo-β-mannanase.
McCleary, B. V. (1983). Phytochemistry, 22(3), 649-658.
Hydrolysis of galactomannan in endosperms of germinating guar is due to the combined action of
three enzymes, α-galactosidase, β-mannanase and exo-β-mannanase. α-Galactosidase and exo-β-mannanase activities occur both in endosperm and cotyledon tissue but β-mannanase occurs only in endosperms. On seed germination, β-mannanase and endospermic α-galactosidase are synthesized and activity changes parallel galactomannan degradation. Galactomannan degradation and synthesis of these two enzymes are inhibited by cycloheximide. In contrast, endospermic exo-β-mannanase is not synthesized on seed germination, but rather is already present throughout endosperm tissue. It has no action on native galactomannan. α-Galactosidase, β-mannanase and exo-β-mannanase have been purified to homogeneity and their separate and combined action in the hydrolysis of galactomannan and effect on the rate of uptake of carbohydrate by cotyledons, studied. Results obtained indicated that these three activities are sufficient to account for galactomannan degradation in vivo and, further, that all three are required. Cotyledons contain an active exo-β-mannanase and sugar-uptake experiments have shown that cotyledons can absorb mannobiose intact, indicating that this enzyme is involved in the complete degradation of galactomannan on seed germination.
Characterisation of the oligosaccharides produced on hydrolysis of galactomannan with β-D-mannase.
McCleary, B. V., Nurthen, E., Taravel, F. R. & Joseleau, J. P. (1983). Carbohydrate Research, 118, 91-109.
Treatment of hot-water-soluble carob galactomannan with β-D-mannanases from A. niger or lucerne seed affords an array of D-galactose-containing β-D-mannosaccharides as well as β-D-manno-biose, -triose, and -tetraose (lucerne-seed enzyme only). The D-galactose-containing β-D-mannosaccharides of d.p. 3–9 produced by A. niger β-D-mannanase have been characterised, using enzymic, n.m.r., and chemical techniques, as 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannobiose, 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannotriose, 63,64-di-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannopentaose (the only heptasaccharide), and 63,64-di-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannohexaose, 64,65-di-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannohexaose, and 61, 63,64-tri-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannopentaose (the only octasaccharides). Four nonasaccharides have also been characterised. Penta- and hexa-saccharides were absent. Lucerne-seed β-D-mannanase produced the same branched tri-, tetra- and hepta-saccharides, and also penta- and hexa-saccharides that were characterised as 61-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannotetraose, 63-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannotetraose, 61,63-di-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannotetraose, 63-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannopentaose, and 64-α-D-galactosyl-β-D-mannopentaose. None of the oligosaccharides contained a D-galactose stub on the terminal D-mannosyl group nor were they substituted on the second D-mannosyl residue from the reducing terminal.
Action patterns and substrate-binding requirements of β-D-mannanase with mannosaccharides and mannan-type polysaccharides.
McCleary, B. V. & Matheson, N. K. (1983). Carbohydrate Research, 119, 191-219.
Purified (1→4)-β-D-mannanase from Aspergillus niger and lucerne seeds has been incubated with mannosaccharides and end-reduced (1→4)-β-D-mannosaccharides and, from the products of hydrolysis, a cyclic reaction-sequence has been proposed. From the heterosaccharides released by hydrolysis of the hot-water-soluble fraction of carob galactomannan by A. niger β-D-mannanase, a pattern of binding between the β-D-mannan chain and the enzyme has been deduced. The products of hydrolysis with the β-D-mannanases from Irpex lacteus, Helix pomatia, Bacillus subtilis, and lucerne and guar seeds have also been determined, and the differences from the action of A. niger β-D-mannanase related to minor differences in substrate binding. The products of hydrolysis of glucomannan are consistent with those expected from the binding pattern proposed from the hydrolysis of galactomannan.
The fine structures of carob and guar galactomannans.
McCleary, B. V., Clark, A. H., Dea, I. C. M. & Rees, D. A. (1985). Carbohydrate Research, 139, 237-260.
The distribution of D-galactosyl groups along the D-mannan backbone (fine structure) of carob and guar galactomannans has been studied by a computer analysis of the amounts and structures of oligosaccharides released on hydrolysis of the polymers with two highly purified β-D-mannanases isolated from germinated guar seed and from Aspergillus niger cultures. Computer programmes were developed which accounted for the specific subsite-binding requirements of the β-D-mannanases and which simulated the synthesis of galactomannan by processes in which the D-galactosyl groups were transferred to the growing D-mannan chain in either a statistically random manner or as influenced by nearest-neighbour/second-nearest-neighbour substitution. Such a model was chosen as it is consistent with the known pattern of synthesis of similar polysaccharides, for example, xyloglucan; also, addition to a preformed mannan chain would be unlikely, due to the insoluble nature of such polymers. The D-galactose distribution in carob galactomannan and in the hot- and cold-water-soluble fractions of carob galactomannan has been shown to be non-regular, with a high proportion of substituted couplets, lesser amounts of triplets, and an absence of blocks of substitution. The probability of sequences in which alternate D-mannosyl residues are substituted is low. The probability distribution of block sizes for unsubstituted D-mannosyl residues indicates that there is a higher proportion of blocks of intermediate size than would be present in a galactomannan with a statistically random D-galactose distribution. Based on the almost identical patterns of amounts of oligosaccharides produced on hydrolysis with β-D-mannanase, it appears that galactomannans from seed of a wide range of carob varities have the same fine-structure. The D-galactose distribution in guar-seed galactomannan also appears to be non-regular, and galactomannans from different guar-seed varieties appear to have the same fine-structure.
Effect of galactose-substitution-patterns on the interaction properties of galactomannas.
Dea, I. C. M., Clark, A. H. & McCleary, B. V. (1986). Carbohydrate Research, 147(2), 275-294.
A range of galactomannans varying widely in the contents of D-galactose have been compared for self-association and their interaction properties with agarose and xanthan. Whereas, in general, the most interactive galactomannans are those in which the (1→4)-β-D-mannan chain is least substituted by α-D-galactosyl stubs, evidence is presented which indicates that the distribution of D-galactosyl groups along the backbone (fine structure) can have a significant effect on the interaction properties. For galactomannans containing <30% of D-galactose, those which contain a higher frequency of unsubstituted blocks of intermediate length in the β-D-mannan chain are most interactive. For galactomannans containing >40% of D-galactose, those which contain a higher frequency of exactly alternating regions in the β-D-mannan chain are most interactive. This selectivity, on the basis of galactomannan fine-structure, in mixed polysaccharide interactions in vitro could mimic the selectivity of binding of branched plant-cell-wall polysaccharides in biological systems.
Effect of the molecular fine structure of galactomannans on their interaction properties - the role of unsubstituted sides.
Dea, I. C. M., Clark, A. H. & McCleary, B. V. (1986). Food Hydrocolloids, 1(2), 129-140.
A range of galactomannans varying widely in the content of D-galactose have been compared for self-association, and their interaction properties with agarose and xanthan. The results presented indicate that in general the most interactive galactomannans are those in which the D-mannan main chain bears fewest D-galactose stubs, and confirm that the distribution of D-galactose groups along the main chain can have a significant effect on the interactive properties of the galactomannans. It has been shown that freeze — thaw precipitation of galactomannans requires regions of totally unsubstituted D-mannose residues along the main chain, and that a threshold for significant freeze — thaw precipitation occurs at a weight-average length of totally unsubstituted residues of approximately six. For galactomannans having structures above this threshold their interactive properties with other polysaccharides are controlled by structural features associated with totally unsubstituted regions of the D-mannan backbone. In contrast, for galactomannans below this threshold, their interactive properties are controlled by structural features associated with unsubstituted sides of D-mannan backbone.
Galactomannan changes in developing Gleditsia Triacanthos Seeds.
McCleary, B. V., Mallett, I. & Matheson, N. K. (1987). Phytochemistry, 26(7), 1889-1894.
Galactomannan has been extracted from the endosperm of seeds of Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) at different stages of development, when the seed was accumulating storage material. Properties of the different samples have been studied. The molecular size distribution became more disperse as galactomannan accumulated and the galactose: mannose ratio decreased slightly. Some possible reasons for these changes are discussed.
Rapid optimization of enzyme mixtures for deconstruction of diverse pretreatment/biomass feedstock combinations.
Banerjee, G., Car, S., Scott-Craig, J. S., Borrusch, M. S. & Walton, J. D. (2010). Biotechnology for Biofuels, 3(1), 22.
Background: Enzymes for plant cell wall deconstruction are a major cost in the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. The goal of this research was to develop optimized synthetic mixtures of enzymes for multiple pretreatment/substrate combinations using our high-throughput biomass digestion platform, GENPLAT, which combines robotic liquid handling, statistical experimental design and automated Glc and Xyl assays. Proportions of six core fungal enzymes (CBH1, CBH2, EG1, β-glucosidase, a GH10 endo-β1,4-xylanase, and β-xylosidase) were optimized at a fixed enzyme loading of 15 mg/g glucan for release of Glc and Xyl from all combinations of five biomass feedstocks (corn stover, switchgrass, Miscanthus, dried distillers’ grains plus solubles [DDGS] and poplar) subjected to three alkaline pretreatments (AFEX, dilute base [0.25% NaOH] and alkaline peroxide [AP]). A 16-component mixture comprising the core set plus 10 accessory enzymes was optimized for three pretreatment/substrate combinations. Results were compared to the performance of two commercial enzymes (Accellerase 1000 and Spezyme CP) at the same protein loadings. Results: When analyzed with GENPLAT, corn stover gave the highest yields of Glc with commercial enzymes and with the core set with all pretreatments, whereas corn stover, switchgrass and Miscanthus gave comparable Xyl yields. With commercial enzymes and with the core set, yields of Glc and Xyl were highest for grass stovers pretreated by AP compared to AFEX or dilute base. Corn stover, switchgrass and DDGS pretreated with AFEX and digested with the core set required a higher proportion of endo-β1,4-xylanase (EX3) and a lower proportion of endo-β1,4-glucanase (EG1) compared to the same materials pretreated with dilute base or AP. An optimized enzyme mixture containing 16 components (by addition of α-glucuronidase, a GH11 endoxylanase [EX2], Cel5A, Cel61A, Cip1, Cip2, β-mannanase, amyloglucosidase, α-arabinosidase, and Cel12A to the core set) was determined for AFEX-pretreated corn stover, DDGS, and AP-pretreated corn stover. The optimized mixture for AP-corn stover contained more exo-β1,4-glucanase (i.e., the sum of CBH1 + CBH2) and less endo-β1,4-glucanase (EG1 + Cel5A) than the optimal mixture for AFEX-corn stover. Amyloglucosidase and β-mannanase were the two most important enzymes for release of Glc from DDGS but were not required (i.e., 0% optimum) for corn stover subjected to AP or AFEX. As a function of enzyme loading over the range 0 to 30 mg/g glucan, Glc release from AP-corn stover reached a plateau of 60-70% Glc yield at a lower enzyme loading (5-10 mg/g glucan) than AFEX-corn stover. Accellerase 1000 was superior to Spezyme CP, the core set or the 16-component mixture for Glc yield at 12 h, but the 16-component set was as effective as the commercial enzyme mixtures at 48 h. Conclusion: The results in this paper demonstrate that GENPLAT can be used to rapidly produce enzyme cocktails for specific pretreatment/biomass combinations. Pretreatment conditions and feedstock source both influence the Glc and Xyl yields as well as optimal enzyme proportions. It is predicted that it will be possible to improve synthetic enzyme mixtures further by the addition of additional accessory enzymes.
Expression of Trichoderma reesei β-mannanase in tobacco chloroplasts and its utilization in lignocellulosic woody biomass hydrolysis.
Agrawal, P., Verma, D. & Daniell, H. (2011). PloS One, 6(12), e29302.
Lignocellulosic ethanol offers a promising alternative to conventional fossil fuels. One among the major limitations in the lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis is unavailability of efficient and environmentally biomass degrading technologies. Plant-based production of these enzymes on large scale offers a cost-effective solution. Cellulases, hemicellulases including mannanases and other accessory enzymes are required for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars. β-mannanase catalyzes endo-hydrolysis of the mannan backbone, a major constituent of woody biomass. In this study, the man1 gene encoding β-mannanase was isolated from Trichoderma reesei and expressed via the chloroplast genome. PCR and Southern hybridization analysis confirmed site-specific transgene integration into the tobacco chloroplast genomes and homoplasmy. Transplastomic plants were fertile and set viable seeds. Germination of seeds in the selection medium showed inheritance of transgenes into the progeny without any Mendelian segregation. Expression of endo-β-mannanase for the first time in plants facilitated its characterization for use in enhanced lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysis. Gel diffusion assay for endo-β-mannanase showed the zone of clearance confirming functionality of chloroplast-derived mannanase. Endo-β-mannanase expression levels reached up to 25 units per gram of leaf (fresh weight). Chloroplast-derived mannanase had higher temperature stability (40°C to 70°C) and wider pH optima (pH 3.0 to 7.0) than E.coli enzyme extracts. Plant crude extracts showed 6–7 fold higher enzyme activity than E.coli extracts due to the formation of disulfide bonds in chloroplasts, thereby facilitating their direct utilization in enzyme cocktails without any purification. Chloroplast-derived mannanase when added to the enzyme cocktail containing a combination of different plant-derived enzymes yielded 20% more glucose equivalents from pinewood than the cocktail without mannanase. Our results demonstrate that chloroplast-derived mannanase is an important component of enzymatic cocktail for woody biomass hydrolysis and should provide a cost-effective solution for its diverse applications in the biofuel, paper, oil, pharmaceutical, coffee and detergent industries.
High-throughput enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass via in-situ regeneration.
Bharadwaj, R., Wong, A., Knierim, B., Singh, S., Holmes, B. M., Auer, M., Simmons, B. A., Adams, P. D. & Singh, A. K. (2011). Bioresource Technology, 102(2), 1329-1337.
The high cost of lignocellulolytic enzymes is one of the main barriers towards the development of economically competitive biorefineries. Enzyme engineering can be used to significantly increase the production rate as well as specific activity of enzymes. However, the success of enzyme optimization efforts is currently limited by a lack of robust high-throughput (HTP) cellulase screening platforms for insoluble pretreated lignocellulosic substrates. We have developed a cost-effective microplate based HTP enzyme-screening platform for ionic liquid (IL) pretreated lignocellulose. By performing in-situ biomass regeneration in micro-volumes, we can volumetrically meter biomass (sub-mg loading) and also precisely control the amount of residual IL for engineering novel IL-tolerant cellulases. Our platform only requires straightforward liquid-handling steps and allows the integration of biomass regeneration, washing, saccharification, and imaging steps in a single microtiter plate. The proposed method can be used to screen individual cellulases as well as to develop novel cellulase cocktails.
Surface kinetics for cooperative fungal cellulase digestion of cellulose from quartz crystal microgravimetry.
Maurer, S. A., Brady, N. W., Fajardo, N. P. & Radke, C. J. (2013). Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 394, 498-508.
The kinetic behavior of aqueous cellulase on insoluble cellulose is best quantified through surface-based assays on a well-defined cellulose substrate of known area. We use a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) to measure the activity of binary mixtures of Trichoderma longibrachiatum cellobiohydrolase I (Cel7A) and endoglucanase I (Cel7B) on spin-coated cellulose films. By extending a previous surface kinetic model for cellulase activity, we obtain rate constants for competitive adsorption of Cel7A and Cel7B, their irreversible binding, their complexation with the cellulose surface, and their cooperative cellulolytic activity. The activity of the two cellulases is linked through the formation of cellulose chain ends by Cel7B that provide complexation sites from which Cel7A effects cellulose chain scission. Although the rate-limiting step in Cel7A activity is complexation, Cel7B activity is limited by adsorption to the cellulose surface. A 2:1 bulk mass ratio of aqueous Cel7A:Cel7B, corresponding to a 4:1 surface mass ratio, effects the greatest rate of cellulose degradation across a range of cellulase concentrations at 25°C. We find that surface chain-end concentration is a major predictor of Cel7A activity. Disruption of the hydrogen-bonding structure of cellulose by Cel7B enhances the activity of Cel7A on the cellulose surface.
New glycosidase substrates for droplet-based microfluidic screening.
Najah, M., Mayot, E., Mahendra-Wijaya, I. P., Griffiths, A. D., Ladame, S. & Drevelle, A. (2013). Analytical Chemistry, 85(20), 9807-9814.
Droplet-based microfluidics is a powerful technique allowing ultra-high-throughput screening of large libraries of enzymes or microorganisms for the selection of the most efficient variants. Most applications in droplet microfluidic screening systems use fluorogenic substrates to measure enzymatic activities with fluorescence readout. It is important, however, that there is little or no fluorophore exchange between droplets, a condition not met with most commonly employed substrates. Here we report the synthesis of fluorogenic substrates for glycosidases based on a sulfonated 7-hydroxycoumarin scaffold. We found that the presence of the sulfonate group effectively prevents leakage of the coumarin from droplets, no exchange of the sulfonated coumarins being detected over 24 h at 30°C. The fluorescence properties of these substrates were characterized over a wide pH range, and their specificity was studied on a panel of relevant glycosidases (cellulases and xylanases) in microtiter plates. Finally, the β-D-cellobioside-6,8-difluoro-7-hydroxycoumarin-4-methanesulfonate substrate was used to assay cellobiohydrolase activity on model bacterial strains (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis) in a droplet-based microfluidic format. These new substrates can be used to assay glycosidase activities in a wide pH range (4–11) and with incubation times of up to 24 h in droplet-based microfluidic systems.
Droplet-based microfluidic platform for heterogeneous enzymatic assays.
Chang, C., Sustarich, J., Bharadwaj, R., Chandrasekaran, A., Adams, P. D. & Singh, A. K. (2013). Lab Chip, 13(9), 1817-1822.
Heterogeneous enzymatic reactions are used in many industrial processes including pulp and paper, food, and biofuel production. Industrially-relevant optimization of the enzymes used in these processes requires assaying them with insoluble substrates. However, platforms for high throughput heterogeneous assays do not exist thereby severely increasing the cost and time of enzyme optimization, or leading to the use of assays with soluble substrates for convenient, but non-ideal, optimization. We present an innovative approach to perform heterogeneous reactions in a high throughput fashion using droplet microfluidics. Droplets provide a facile platform for heterogeneous reactions as internal recirculation allows rapid mixing of insoluble substrates with soluble enzymes. Moreover, it is easy to generate hundreds or thousands of picoliter droplets in a small footprint chip allowing many parallel reactions. We validate our approach by screening combinations of cellulases with real-world insoluble substrates, and demonstrate that the chip-based screening is in excellent agreement with the conventional screening methods, while offering advantages of throughput, speed and lower reagent consumption. We believe that our approach, while demonstrated for a biofuel application, provides a generic platform for high throughput monitoring of heterogeneous reactions.