Three extracellular cellulose-depolymerizing enzymes from cotton undergoing decay by the brown rot fungus Meruliporia (Serpula) incrassata were isolated by anion-exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatographies. Depolymerization was detected by analyzing the changes in the molecular size distribution of cotton cellulose by high-performance size-exclusion chromatography. The average degree of polymerization (DP; number of glucosyl residues per cellulose chain) was calculated from the size-exclusion chromatography data. The very acidic purified endoglucanases, Cel 25, Cel 49, and Cel 57, were glycosylated and had molecular weights of 25,200, 48,500, and 57,100, respectively. Two, Cel 25 and Cel 49, depolymerized cotton cellulose and were also very active on carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Cel 57, by contrast, significantly depolymerized cotton cellulose but did not release reducing sugars from CMC and only very slightly reduced the viscosity of CMC solutions. Molecular size distributions of cotton cellulose attacked by the three endoglucanases revealed single major peaks that shifted to lower DP positions. A second smaller peak (DP, 10 to 20) was also observed in the size-exclusion chromatograms of cotton attacked by Cel 49 and Cel 57. Under the reaction conditions used, Cel 25, the most active of the cellulases, reduced the weight average DP from 3,438 to 315, solubilizing approximately 20% of the cellulose. The weight average DP values of cotton attacked under the same conditions by Cel 49 and Cel 57 were 814 and 534; weight losses were 9 and 11% respectively
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.