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Title: Engineering enhanced cellobiohydrolase activity

Glycoside Hydrolase Family 7 cellobiohydrolases (GH7 CBHs) catalyze cellulose depolymerization in cellulolytic eukaryotes, making them key discovery and engineering targets. However, there remains a lack of robust structure–activity relationships for these industrially important cellulases. Here, we compare CBHs from Trichoderma reesei (TrCel7A) and Penicillium funiculosum (PfCel7A), which exhibit a multi-modular architecture consisting of catalytic domain (CD), carbohydrate-binding module, and linker. We show that PfCel7A exhibits 60% greater performance on biomass than TrCel7A. To understand the contribution of each domain to this improvement, we measure enzymatic activity for a library of CBH chimeras with swapped subdomains, demonstrating that the enhancement is mainly caused by PfCel7A CD. We solve the crystal structure of PfCel7A CD and use this information to create a second library of TrCel7A CD mutants, identifying a TrCel7A double mutant with near-equivalent activity to wild-type PfCel7A. Overall, these results reveal CBH regions that enable targeted activity improvements.
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Biosciences Center
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). National Bioenergy Center
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Biosciences Center; Inst. of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati (India). Life Sciences Division
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; hydrolases; polysaccharides; protein design; x-ray crystallography
OSTI Identifier: