The cellulosome is a supramolecular mulienzymec protein complex that functions as a biological nanomachine ofcellulosic biomass degradation. How the megadalton-size cellulosomeadapts to a solid substrate is central to its mechanism of action and isalso key for its efficient use in bioconversion applications. We reporttime-lapse visualization of crystalline cellulose degradation byindividual cellulosomes from Clostridium thermocellum by atomicforce microscopy. Upon binding to cellulose, the cellulosomes switchto elongated, even filamentous shapes and morph these dynamically atbelow 1 min time scale according to requirements of the substratesurface under attack. Compared with noncomplexed cellulases thatpeel off material while sliding along crystalline cellulose surfaces, thecellulosomes remain bound locally for minutes and remove thematerial lying underneath. The consequent roughening up of the surface leads to an efficient deconstruction of cellulose nanocrystalsboth from the ends and through fissions within. Distinct modes of cellulose nanocrystal deconstruction by nature’s major cellulasesystems are thus revealed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- !!Materials Science(all)
Fields of Expertise
- Advanced Materials Science
Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)
- Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)