Molecular recognition of natural and non‐natural substrates by cellodextrin phosphorylase from Ruminiclostridium thermocellum investigated by NMR spectroscopy

Valeria Gabrielli, Juan Carlos Muñoz-García, Giulia Pergolizzi, Peterson De Andrade, Yaroslav Khimyak, Robert A Field, Jesus Angulo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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β-1→4-Glucan polysaccharides like cellulose, derivatives and analogues, are attracting attention due to their unique physicochemical properties, as ideal candidates for many different applications in biotechnology. Access to these polysaccharides with a high level of purity at scale is still challenging, and eco-friendly alternatives by using enzymes in vitro are highly desirable. One prominent candidate enzyme is cellodextrin phosphorylase (CDP) from Ruminiclostridium thermocellum, which is able to yield cellulose oligomers from short cellodextrins and α-d-glucose 1-phosphate (Glc-1-P) as substrates. Remarkably, its broad specificity towards donors and acceptors allows the generation of highly diverse cellulose-based structures to produce novel materials. However, to fully exploit this CDP broad specificity, a detailed understanding of the molecular recognition of substrates by this enzyme in solution is needed. Herein, we provide a detailed investigation of the molecular recognition of ligands by CDP in solution by saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR spectroscopy, tr-NOESY and protein-ligand docking. Our results, discussed in the context of previous reaction kinetics data in the literature, allow a better understanding of the structural basis of the broad binding specificity of this biotechnologically relevant enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15688-15698
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry – A European Journal
Issue number63
Early online date26 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • cellodextrin phosphorylase
  • ligand-based NMR spectroscopy
  • molecular docking
  • protein-ligand interactions

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