Clostridium cellulovorans produces a cellulase enzyme complex called the cellulosome. When cells were grown on different carbon substrates such as Avicel, pectin, xylan, or a mixture of all three, the subunit composition of the cellulosomal subpopulations and their enzymic activities varied significantly. Fractionation of the cellulosomes (7-11 fractions) indicated that the cellulosome population was heterogeneous, although the composition of the scaffolding protein CbpA, endoglucanase EngE and cellobiohydrolase ExgS was relatively constant. One of the cellulosomal fractions with the greatest endoglucanase activity also showed the highest or second highest cellulase activity under all growth conditions tested. The cellulosomal fractions produced from cells grown on a mixture of carbon substrates showed the greatest cellulase activity and contained CbpA, EngE/EngK, ExgS/EngH and Enge High xylanase activity in cellulose, pectin and mixed carbon-grown cells was detected with a specific cellulosomal fraction which had relatively larger amounts of XynB, XynA and unknown proteins (35-45 kDa). These results in toto indicate that the assembly of cellulosomes occurs in a non-random fashion.
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