A Biological Nanomachine at Work: Watching the Cellulosome Degrade Crystalline Cellulose

Manuel Eibinger, Thomas Ganner, Harald Plank*, Bernd Nidetzky

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in einer FachzeitschriftArtikel


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.
Seiten (von - bis)739-746
FachzeitschriftACS Central Science
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • !!Materials Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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