Characterization of a thermoactive endoglucanase isolated from a biogas plant metagenome
A metagenomic library from DNA isolated from a biogas plant was constructed and screened for thermoactive endoglucanases to gain insight into the enzymatic diversity involved in plant biomass breakdown at elevated temperatures. Two cellulase-encoding genes were identified and the corresponding proteins showed sequence similarities of 59% for Cel5A to a putative cellulase from Anaerolinea thermolimosa and 99% for Cel5B to a characterized endoglucanase isolated from a biogas plant reactor. The cellulase Cel5A consists of one catalytical domain showing sequence similarities to glycoside hydrolase family 5 and comprises 358 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 41.2 kDa. The gene coding for cel5A was successfully cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli C43(DE3). The recombinant protein was purified to homogeneity using affinity chromatography with a specific activity of 182 U/mg, and a yield of 74%. Enzymatic activity was detectable towards cellulose and mannan containing substrates and over a broad temperature range from 40 °C to 70 °C and a pH range from 4.0 to 7.0 with maximal activity at 55 °C and pH 5.0. Cel5A showed high thermostability at 60 °C without loss of activity after 24 h. Due to the enzymatic characteristics, Cel5A is an attractive candidate for the degradation of lignocellulosic material.
Biogas plant, metagenomic library