Synergistic proteins for the enhanced enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose by cellulase

In Jung Kim, Hee Jin Lee, In Geol Choi, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Reducing the enzyme loadings for enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulose is required for economically feasible production of biofuels and biochemicals. One strategy is addition of small amounts of synergistic proteins to cellulase mixtures. Synergistic proteins increase the activity of cellulase without causing significant hydrolysis of cellulose. Synergistic proteins exert their activity by inducing structural modifications in cellulose. Recently, synergistic proteins from various biological sources, including bacteria, fungi, and plants, were identified based on genomic data, and their synergistic activities were investigated. Currently, an up-to-date overview of several aspects of synergistic proteins, such as their functions, action mechanisms and synergistic activity, are important for future industrial application. In this review, we summarize the current state of research on four synergistic proteins: carbohydrate-binding modules, plant expansins, expansin-like proteins, and Auxiliary Activity family 9 (formerly GH61) proteins. This review provides critical information to aid in promoting research on the development of efficient and industrially feasible synergistic proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8469-8480
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct


  • Auxiliary Activity family 9
  • Carbohydrate-binding module
  • Cellulase
  • Cellulose hydrolysis
  • Expansin
  • GH61
  • Synergistic protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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