The processive endoglucanase EngZ is active in crystalline cellulose degradation as a cellulosomal subunit of Clostridium cellulovorans

Sang Duck Jeon, Kyung Ok Yu, Seung Wook Kim, Sung Ok Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Clostridium cellulovorans produces an efficient enzyme complex for the degradation of lignocellulosic biomass. In our previous study, we detected and identified protein spots that interacted with a fluorescently labeled cohesin biomarker via two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. One novel, putative cellulosomal protein (referred to as endoglucanase Z) contains a catalytic module from the glycosyl hydrolase family (GH9) and demonstrated higher levels of expression than other cellulosomal cellulases in Avicel-containing cultures. Purified EngZ had optimal activity at pH 7.0, 40°C, and the major hydrolysis product from the cellooligosaccharides was cellobiose. EngZ's specific activity toward crystalline cellulose (Avicel and acid-swollen cellulose) was 10-20-fold higher than other cellulosomal cellulase activities. A large percentage of the reducing ends that were produced by this enzyme from acid-swollen cellulose were released as soluble sugar. EngZ has the capability of reducing the viscosity of Avicel at an intermediate-level between exo- and endo-typing cellulases, suggesting that it is a processive endoglucanase. In conclusion, EngZ was highly expressed in cellulolytic systems and demonstrated processive endoglucanase activity, suggesting that it plays a major role in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose and acts as a cellulosomal enzyme in. C. cellulovorans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-371
Number of pages7
JournalNew Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Ka Young Shin for skillful technical assistance and Dr. Hyun Wook Jung for viscometric analysis. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Technology Development Program for Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of Korea (no. 309016-5) and the Mid-career Researcher Program via an NRF grant funded by the MEST, Republic of Korea (no. R01-2008-000-20438-0).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Biology


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