An integrative structural biology approach to characterise the protein-carbohydrate microbial recognition

Acronym: 
An integrative structural biology approach to characterise the protein-carbohydrate microbial recognition
Project Title: 
An integrative structural biology approach to characterise the protein-carbohydrate microbial recognition
Duration: 
02/05/2016 - 01/05/2019
Principal Investigator NOVA.id.FCT/FCT-UNL: 
Ana Luísa Carvalho
Abstract: 

Plant cell wall is the most abundant biomaterial on earth and consists of a matrix of cellulose and other polymers, primarily hemicellulose and lignin. These polymers confer to the plant cell wall resistance to degradation, which also makes these materials a challenge to use as substrates in many industrial applications worldwide. The potential is enormous both for the nutrition industry and for biofuel production. The conversion of the plant cell wall polysaccharides into soluble utilizable sugars can be performed by several microorganisms, for which their developed enzymatic systems play a major role in recycling plant cell wall fixed carbon. These microorganisms, of considerable biotechnological importance, have evolved modular enzymes, in which the catalytic modules are appended to non-catalytic modules, designated carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM). Profound knowledge about specificity of the different CBM families will bring a relevant contribution to the possible engineering of more efficient catalysts. (…) In this project we propose to apply STD-NMR techniques that have already been successfully applied in our previous studies involving carbohydrates.