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Title: Identification of Glutaminyl Cyclase Genes Involved in Pyroglutamate Modification of Fungal Lignocellulolytic Enzymes

The breakdown of plant biomass to simple sugars is essential for the production of second-generation biofuels and high-value bioproducts. Currently, enzymes produced from filamentous fungi are used for deconstructing plant cell wall polysaccharides into fermentable sugars for biorefinery applications. A post-translational N-terminal pyroglutamate modification observed in some of these enzymes occurs when N-terminal glutamine or glutamate is cyclized to form a five-membered ring. This modification has been shown to confer resistance to thermal denaturation for CBH-1 and EG-1 cellulases. In mammalian cells, the formation of pyroglutamate is catalyzed by glutaminyl cyclases. Using the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, we identified two genes ( qc-1 and qc-2) that encode proteins homologous to mammalian glutaminyl cyclases. We show that qc-1 and qc-2 are essential for catalyzing the formation of an N-terminal pyroglutamate on CBH-1 and GH5-1. CBH-1 and GH5-1 produced in a Δqc-1 Δqc-2 mutant, and thus lacking the N-terminal pyroglutamate modification, showed greater sensitivity to thermal denaturation, and for GH5-1, susceptibility to proteolytic cleavage. QC-1 and QC-2 are endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized proteins. The pyroglutamate modification is predicted to occur in a number of additional fungal proteins that have diverse functions. The identification of glutaminyl cyclases in fungi may have implications formore » production of lignocellulolytic enzymes, heterologous expression, and biotechnological applications revolving around protein stability.« less
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  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
mBio (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: mBio (Online); Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-7511
American Society for Microbiology
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Institutes of Health (NIH); USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: