2,819 research outputs found

    Study of conversion of formaldehyde into sugar-like products Final report, Mar. 24, 1967 - Jan. 23, 1968

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    Sugar-like products synthesis by gamma irradiation of formaldehyde absorbed on molecular, sieve zeolite

    Organosolv pretreatment of Sitka spruce wood: conversion of hemicelluloses to ethyl glycosides

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    A range of organosolv pretreatments, using ethanol:water mixtures with dilute sulphuric acid, were applied to Sitka spruce sawdust with the aim of generating useful co-products as well as improving saccharification yield. The most efficient of the pretreatment conditions, resulting in subsequent saccharification yields of up to 86%, converted a large part of the hemicellulose sugars to their ethyl glycosides as identified by GC/MS. These conditions also reduced conversion of pentoses to furfural, the ethyl glycosides being more stable to dehydration than the parent pentoses. Through comparison with the behaviour of model compounds under the same reaction conditions it was shown that the anomeric composition of the products was consistent with a predominant transglycosylation reaction mechanism, rather than hydrolysis followed by glycosylation. The ethyl glycosides have potential as intermediates in the sustainable production of high-value chemicals

    A GH115 alpha-glucuronidase from Schizophyllum commune contributes to the synergistic enzymatic deconstruction of softwood glucuronoarabinoxylan

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    Background: Lignocellulosic biomass from softwood represents a valuable resource for the production of biofuels and bio-based materials as alternatives to traditional pulp and paper products. Hemicelluloses constitute an extremely heterogeneous fraction of the plant cell wall, as their molecular structures involve multiple monosaccharide components, glycosidic linkages, and decoration patterns. The complete enzymatic hydrolysis of wood hemicelluloses into monosaccharides is therefore a complex biochemical process that requires the activities of multiple degradative enzymes with complementary activities tailored to the structural features of a particular substrate. Glucuronoarabinoxylan (GAX) is a major hemicellulose component in softwood, and its structural complexity requires more enzyme specificities to achieve complete hydrolysis compared to glucuronoxylans from hardwood and arabinoxylans from grasses. Results: We report the characterisation of a recombinant α-glucuronidase (Agu115) from Schizophyllum commune capable of removing (4-O-methyl)-glucuronic acid ((Me)GlcA) residues from polymeric and oligomeric xylan. The enzyme is required for the complete deconstruction of spruce glucuronoarabinoxylan (GAX) and acts synergistically with other xylan-degrading enzymes, specifically a xylanase (Xyn10C), an α-l-arabinofuranosidase (AbfA), and a β-xylosidase (XynB). Each enzyme in this mixture showed varying degrees of potentiation by the other activities, likely due to increased physical access to their respective target monosaccharides. The exo-acting Agu115 and AbfA were unable to remove all of their respective target side chain decorations from GAX, but their specific activity was significantly boosted by the addition of the endo-Xyn10C xylanase. We demonstrate that the proposed enzymatic cocktail (Agu115 with AbfA, Xyn10C and XynB) achieved almost complete conversion of GAX to arabinofuranose (Araf), xylopyranose (Xylp), and MeGlcA monosaccharides. Addition of Agu115 to the enzymatic cocktail contributes specifically to 25 % of the conversion. However, traces of residual oligosaccharides resistant to this combination of enzymes were still present after deconstruction, due to steric hindrances to enzyme access to the substrate. Conclusions: Our GH115 α-glucuronidase is capable of finely tailoring the molecular structure of softwood GAX, and contributes to the almost complete saccharification of GAX in synergy with other exo- and endo-xylan-acting enzymes. This has great relevance for the cost-efficient production of biofuels from softwood lignocellulose.Lauren S. McKee, Hampus Sunner, George E. Anasontzis, Guillermo Toriz, Paul Gatenholm, Vincent Bulone, Francisco Vilaplana and Lisbeth Olsso

    Structure analysis of biologically important prokaryotic glycopolymers

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    Of the many post-translational modifications organisms can undertake, glycosylation is the most prevalent and the most diverse. The research in this thesis focuses on the structural characterisation of glycosylation in two classes of glycopolymer (lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and glycoprotein) in two domains of life (bacteria and archaea). The common theme linking these subprojects is the development and application of high sensitivity analytical techniques, primarily mass spectrometry (MS), for studying prokaryotic glycosylation. Many prokaryotes produce glycan arrangements with extraordinary variety in composition and structure. A further challenge is posed by additional functionalities such as lipids whose characterisation is not always straightforward. Glycosylation in prokaryotes has a variety of different biological functions, including their important roles in the mediation of interactions between pathogens and hosts. Thus enhanced knowledge of bacterial glycosylation may be of therapeutic value, whilst a better understanding of archaeal protein glycosylation will provide further targets for industrial applications, as well as insight into this post- translational modification across evolution and protein processing under extreme conditions. The first sub-project focused on the S-layer glycoprotein of the halophilic archeaon Haloferax volcanii, which has been reported to be modified by both glycans and lipids. Glycoproteomic and associated MS technologies were employed to characterise the N- and O-linked glycosylation and to explore putative lipid modifications. Approximately 90% of the S-layer was mapped and N-glycans were identified at all the mapped consensus sites, decorated with a pentasaccharide consisting of two hexoses, two hexuronic acids and a methylated hexuronic acid. The O-glycans are homogeneously identified as a disaccharide consisting of galactose and glucose. Unexpectedly it was found that membrane-derived lipids were present in the S- layer samples despite extensive purification, calling into question the predicted presence of covalently linked lipid. The H. volcanii N-glycosylation is mediated by the products of the agl gene cluster and the functional characterisation of members of the agl gene cluster was investigated by MS analysis of agl-mutant strains of the S-layer. Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, a serious and often fatal disease in humans which is endemic in South-East Asia and other equatorial regions. Its LPS is vital for serum resistance and the O-antigen repeat structures are of interest as vaccine targets. B. pseudomallei is reported to produce several polysaccharides, amongst which the already characterised ‘typical’ O-antigen of K96243 represents 97% of the strains. The serologically distinct ‘atypical’ strain 576 produces a different LPS, whose characterisation is the subject of this research project. MS strategies coupled with various hydrolytic and chemical derivatisation methodologies were employed to define the composition and potential sequences of the O-antigen repeat unit. These MS strategies were complemented by a novel NMR technique involving embedding of the LPS into micelles. Taken together the MS and NMR data have revealed a highly unusual O-antigen structure for atypical LPS which is remarkably different from the typical O-antigen. The development of structural analysis tools in MS and NMR applicable to the illustrated types of glycosylation in these prokaryotes will give a more consistent approach to sugar characterisation and their modifications thus providing more informative results for pathogenicity and immunological studies as well as pathway comparisons.Open Acces

    Multiple Levels of Synergistic Collaboration in Termite Lignocellulose Digestion

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    In addition to evolving eusocial lifestyles, two equally fascinating aspects of termite biology are their mutualistic relationships with gut symbionts and their use of lignocellulose as a primary nutrition source. Termites are also considered excellent model systems for studying the production of bioethanol and renewable bioenergy from 2nd generation (non-food) feedstocks. While the idea that gut symbionts are the sole contributors to termite lignocellulose digestion has remained popular and compelling, in recent years host contributions to the digestion process have become increasingly apparent. However, the degree to which host and symbiont, and host enzymes, collaborate in lignocellulose digestion remain poorly understood. Also, how digestive enzymes specifically collaborate (i.e., in additive or synergistic ways) is largely unknown. In the present study we undertook translational-genomic studies to gain unprecedented insights into digestion by the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes and its symbiotic gut flora. We used a combination of native gut tissue preparations and recombinant enzymes derived from the host gut transcriptome to identify synergistic collaborations between host and symbiont, and also among enzymes produced exclusively by the host termite. Our findings provide important new evidence of synergistic collaboration among enzymes in the release of fermentable monosaccharides from wood lignocellulose. These monosaccharides (glucose and pentoses) are highly relevant to 2nd-generation bioethanol production. We also show that, although significant digestion capabilities occur in host termite tissues, catalytic tradeoffs exist that apparently favor mutualism with symbiotic lignocellulose-digesting microbes. These findings contribute important new insights towards the development of termite-derived biofuel processing biotechnologies and shed new light on selective forces that likely favored symbiosis and, subsequently, group living in primitive termites and their cockroach ancestors

    Phytochemical Analysis and Antibacterial Screening of Asparagus Flagellaris (Kunth) Bak used in The Traditional Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Urinary Infections

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    The phytochemistry and antimicrobial effect of the stem, bark and leave of Asparagus flagellaris were studied. The phytochemical screening of the stem, bark and leaves showed appreciable amount of flavonoid and moderate amount of carbohydrate, cardiac glycoside and saponin while reducing sugar, ketones and pentose were detected in traces. The ethanol extract inhibited the growth of six organisms viz Escherichia coli, Corynebacteria, Klebsiella, Neiserra gonorrhoeae, Shegiella dysentariae and Candida albicans, at various concentrations, while the aqueous extract were susceptible on five organism namely Corynebacteria, Streptococcus pyogene, Proteus specie, Neiserra gonorrhoeae, and Treponema palladium. Keywords: Asparagus flagellaris, phytochemical, ethanol extract, aqueous extract and antibacterial screening.Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies of Management Vol. 1 (2) 2008: pp. 44-4

    O-Linked glycosylation in Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus

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    Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is a member of the giant nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses, infecting various Acanthamoeba spp. The genomes of giant viruses encode components previously thought to be exclusive to cellular life, such as proteins involved in nucleic acid and protein synthesis. Recent work on enzymes involved in carbohydrate biosynthesis and metabolism show that instead of utilizing host cell resources, Mimivirus produces its own glycosylation machinery. To obtain a more detailed view of glycosylation in Mimivirus, we developed a periodate oxidation-based method to selectively enrich Mimivirus surface glycoproteins. O-Glycosylation in Mimivirus glycoproteins was identified by permethylation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry analyses of beta-eliminated glycans. We sequenced 26 previously undescribed O-glycans, most of which contain glucose as their reducing end saccharide. These data will facilitate future studies on the functional significance of glycosylation in Mimiviru
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