Identification of Cellulase Genes from the Metagenomes of Compost Soils and Functional Characterization of One Novel Endoglucanase
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Metagenomics, a new research field developed over the past decade, aims to identify potential enzymes from nonculturable microbes. In this study, genes encoding three glycoside hydrolase family (GHF) 9 endoglucanases and one GHF 5 endoglucanase were cloned and identified from the metagenome of the compost soils. The shared identities between the predicted amino acid sequences of these genes and their closest homologues in the database were less than 70%. One GHF 9 endoglucanase, Umcel9B, was further characterized. The recombinant protein, Umcel9B, showed activity against carboxymethyl cellulose, indicating that Umcel9B is an endoactive enzyme. Enzymatic activity occurs optimally at a pH of 7.0 and a temperature of 25°C.
KeywordsCellulase Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Glycoside Hydrolase Family Metagenomic Library Cellulase Gene
This work was supported by Grants for New Century Excellent Talents in Universities of China (NCET-05-0752), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30560003) and Hi-tech Research and Development Program of China (863 Program 2007AA021307).
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