Insights into the H2O2-driven catalytic mechanism of fungal lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases

Tobias M. Hedison*, Erik Breslmayr, Muralidharan Shanmugam, Kwankao Karnpakdee, Derren J. Heyes, Anthony P. Green, Roland Ludwig, Nigel S. Scrutton, Daniel Kracher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fungal lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) depolymerise crystalline cellulose and hemicellulose, supporting the utilisation of lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock for biorefinery and biomanufacturing processes. Recent investigations have shown that H2O2 is the most efficient cosubstrate for LPMOs. Understanding the reaction mechanism of LPMOs with H2O2 is therefore of importance for their use in biotechnological settings. Here, we have employed a variety of spectroscopic and biochemical approaches to probe the reaction of the fungal LPMO9C from N. crassa using H2O2 as a cosubstrate and xyloglucan as a polysaccharide substrate. We show that a single ‘priming’ electron transfer reaction from the cellobiose dehydrogenase partner protein supports up to 20 H2O2-driven catalytic cycles of a fungal LPMO. Using rapid mixing stopped-flow spectroscopy, alongside electron paramagnetic resonance and UV-Vis spectroscopy, we reveal how H2O2 and xyloglucan interact with the enzyme and investigate transient species that form uncoupled pathways of NcLPMO9C. Our study shows how the H2O2 cosubstrate supports fungal LPMO catalysis and leaves the enzyme in the reduced Cu+ state following a single enzyme turnover, thus preventing the need for external protons and electrons from reducing agents or cellobiose dehydrogenase and supporting the binding of H2O2 for further catalytic steps. We observe that the presence of the substrate xyloglucan stabilises the Cu+ state of LPMOs, which may prevent the formation of uncoupled side reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4115-4128
Number of pages14
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • biomass degradation
  • cellobiose dehydrogenase
  • electron paramagnetic resonance
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase
  • type II copper protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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