Two new studies published in Science and PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) describe innovative enzyme research which can revolutionize biorefinery processes. Foods of Norway’s professor Vincent Eijsink is one of the authors of the two scientific articles.
In 2010, NMBU researchers discovered how lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) play an essential role in the breakdown of plant biomass. LPMOs are known to carry out oxidative cleavage of glycoside bonds in [VE1] cellulose and certain hemicelluloses, thus boosting the activity of well-known hydrolytic depolymerizing enzymes.
The two recent studies published in Science and PNAS provide further insight into the unique force of the LPMOs. The Science article focuses on how different extracellular electron transfer systems fuel cellulose oxidative degradation, whereas the PNAS-article provides important new leads for understanding the reaction mechanism of LPMO and also shows how these enzymes interact with their polysaccharide substrates.
“This will help us to develop better LPMOs targeted for specific industrial purposes. I am optimistic about what we may achieve to further enchance biorefining”, Eijsink says.