Mechanisms Employed by Cellulase Systems to Gain Access Through the Complex Architecture of Lignocellulosic Substrates

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Abstract

To improve the deconstruction of biomass, the most abundant terrestrial source of carbon polymers, en route to renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials more knowledge is needed into the mechanistic interplay between thermochemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. In this review we highlight recent progress in advanced imaging techniques that have been used to elucidate the effects of thermochemical pretreatment on plant cell walls across a range of spatial scales and the relationship between the substrate structure and the function of various glycoside hydrolase components. The details of substrate and enzyme interactions are not yet fully understood and the challenges of characterizing plant cell wall architecture, how it dictates recalcitrance, and how it relates to enzyme-substrate interactions is the focus for many research groups in the field. Better understanding of how to match pretreatments with improved enzyme mixtures will lead to lower costs for industrial biorefining.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-65465

Keywords

  • enzymatic hydrolysis
  • glycoside hydrolase
  • industrial biorefining
  • substrate structure
  • thermochemical pretreatment

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