, Volume 63, Issue 23, pp 2710-2724

Starch-binding domains in the post-genome era

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Abstract.

Starch belongs to the most abundant biopolymers on Earth. As a source of energy, starch is degraded by a large number of various amylolytic enzymes. However, only about 10% of them are capable of binding and degrading raw starch. These enzymes usually possess a distinct sequence-structural module, the so-called starchbinding domain (SBD). In general, all carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) have been classified into the CBM families. In this sequence-based classification the individual types of SBDs have been placed into seven CBM families: CBM20, CBM21, CBM25, CBM26, CBM34, CBM41 and CBM45. The family CBM20, known also as a classical C-terminal SBD of microbial amylases, is the most thoroughly studied. The three-dimensional structures have already been determined by X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance for SBDs from five CBM families (20, 25, 26, 34 and 41), and the structure of the CBM21 has been modelled. Despite differences among the amino acid sequences, the fold of a distorted β-barrel seems to be conserved together with a similar way of substrate binding (mainly stacking interactions between aromatic residues and glucose rings). SBDs have recently been discovered in many non-amylolytic proteins. These may, for example, have regulatory functions in starch metabolism in plants or glycogen metabolism in mammals. SBDs have also found practical uses.

Received 25 May 2006; received after revision 26 June 2006; accepted 3 August 2006