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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Structure and enzymatic degradation of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) copolymer single crystals with an extracellular PHB depolymerase from Alcaligenes faecalis T1.

Lamellar single crystals of four random copolymers of (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate with different hydroxyalkanoates: poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-8 mol%-3-hydroxyvalerate) (P(3HB-co-8%-3HV)), poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-10 mol%-4-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB-co-10%-4HB)), poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-8 mol%-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (P(3HB-co-8%-3HH)) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-10 mol%-6-hydroxyhexanoate) (P(3HB-co-10%-6HH)), were grown from dilute solutions of chloroform and ethanol. All single crystals have lath-shaped morphology and the second monomer units seem to be excluded from the P(3HB) crystal, on the basis of the electron diffraction diagrams. The enzymatic degradation of P(3HB-co-8%-3HH) and P(3HB-co-10%-6HH) single crystals was investigated with an extracellular PHB depolymerase from Alcaligenes faecalis T1. Adsorption of an extracellular PHB depolymerase, examined using an immuno-gold labelling technique, demonstrated a homogeneous distribution of enzyme molecules with a low concentration on the crystal surfaces. Enzymatic degradation of single crystals progressed from the edges and ends of crystals to yield narrow cracks along their long axes and the small crystal fragments. Lamellar thicknesses of single crystals and molecular weights of copolymer chains remained unchanged during the enzymatic hydrolysis. The above results support the hypothesis that the hydrophobic adsorption of the enzyme contributes to increase the mobility of molecular chains of single crystals and generate the disordered chain-packing regions. The active-site of PHB depolymerase takes place preferentially at the disordered chain-packing regions of crystal edges and ends with endo-exo enzymatic hydrolysis behaviour, termed processive degradation.[1]

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