Impact of Synergy Partner Cel7B on Cel7A Binding Rates: Insights from Single-Molecule Data

Aimilia Nousi, Gustavo Avelar Molina, Corinna Schiano-di-Cola, Trine Holst Sørensen, Kim Borch, Jonas N. Pedersen, Peter Westh*, Rodolphe Marie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Enzymatic degradation of cellulosic biomass is a well-established route for the sustainable production of biofuels, chemicals, and materials. A strategy employed by nature and industry to achieve an efficient degradation of cellulose is that cellobiohydrolases (or exocellulases), such as Cel7A, work synergistically with endoglucanases, such as Cel7B, to achieve the complete degradation of cellulose. However, a complete mechanistic understanding of this exo-endo synergy is still lacking. Here, we used single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to quantify the binding kinetics of Cel7A on cellulose when it is acting alone on the cellulose fibrils and in the presence of its synergy partner, the endoglucanase Cel7B. To this end, we used a fluorescently tagged Cel7A and studied its binding in the presence of the unlabeled Cel7B. This provided the single-molecule data necessary for the estimation of the rate constants of association kON and dissociation kOFF of Cel7A for the substrate. We show that the presence of Cel7B does not impact the dissociation rate constant, kOFF. But, the association rate of Cel7A decreases by a factor of 2 when Cel7B is present at a molar proportion of 10:1. This ratio has previously been shown to lead to synergy. This decrease in association rate is observed in a wide range of total enzyme concentrations, from sub nM to μM concentrations. This decrease in kON is consistent with the formation of cellulase clusters recently observed by others using atomic force microscopy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)635-647
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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