In Situ Stability of Substrate-Associated Cellulases Studied by DSC

Kim Borch, Nicolaj Cruys-Bagger, Silke Flindt Badino, Trine Holst Sørensen, Michael Skovbo Windahl, Peter Westh, Kenneth Jensen, Kadri Alasepp

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This work shows that differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) can be used to monitor the stability of substrate-adsorbed cellulases during long-term hydrolysis of insoluble cellulose. Thermal transitions of adsorbed enzyme were measured regularly in subsets of a progressing hydrolysis, and the size of the transition peak was used as a gauge of the population of native enzyme. Analogous measurements were made for enzymes in pure buffer. Investigations of two cellobiohydrolases, Cel6A and Cel7A, from Trichoderma reesei, which is an anamorph of the fungus Hypocrea jerorina, showed that these enzymes were essentially stable at 25 °C. Thus, over a 53 h experiment, Cel6A lost less than 15% of the native population and Cel7A showed no detectable loss for either the free or substrate-adsorbed state. At higher temperatures we found significant losses in the native populations, and at the highest tested temperature (49 °C) about 80% Cel6A and 35% of Cel7A was lost after 53 h of hydrolysis. The data consistently showed that Cel7A was more long-term stable than Cel6A and that substrate-associated enzyme was less long-term stable than enzyme in pure buffer stored under otherwise equal conditions. There was no correlation between the intrinsic stability, specified by the transition temperature in the DSC, and the long-term stability derived from the peak area. The results are discussed with respect to the role of enzyme denaturation for the ubiquitous slowdown observed in the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number24
Pages (from-to)7134-7142
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2014

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