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Endoglucanase (EG) Activity Assays

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Part of the book series: Methods in Molecular Biology ((MIMB,volume 1796))


Cellulosic biomass, the most common organic compound of primary energy source on earth, is a network of interwoven biopolymers of plant cell walls. Degradation of cellulose is important for global carbon recycling. Moreover, biofuel, a renewable fuel whose energy can be derived from cellulosic biomass by enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulases. Among cellulases are endoglucases that act synergistically for subsequent hydrolytic reactions to break down the polymeric cellulose. However, in cellulolytic enzyme activity endoglucanase plays a prominent role in initiating and sustaining the hydrolytic process. Endoglucanase randomly cleaves the cellulose polymer into smaller sugar and oligomeric polysaccharides. Characterization and quantification of endoglucanase activity is important for industry and in the overall study of cellulose degradation. All assays including those for endoglucanase fall into two broad categories either qualitative or quantitative. Quantitative assays can tell if the enzyme is present, how much and its activity. Measurement can be done indirectly using a secondary colorimetric product like (1) molybdenum blue, (2) 3-amino-5-nitrosalicylic acid, (3) bicinchoninic acid (BCA), and (4) 2-cyanoacetamide or directly using an antibody in an ELISA. In this chapter, we discuss several common protocols for the measurement of endoglucanase activity.

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Correspondence to Wensheng Qin .

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Rahman, M.S., Fernando, S., Ross, B., Wu, J., Qin, W. (2018). Endoglucanase (EG) Activity Assays. In: Lübeck, M. (eds) Cellulases. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1796. Humana Press, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Humana Press, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4939-7876-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4939-7877-9

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