Cloning and identification of novel hydrolase genes from a dairy cow rumen metagenomic library and characterization of a cellulase gene
Gong, X., Gruninger, R.J., Qi, M., Paterson, L., Forster, R.J., Teather, R.M., McAllister, T.A. (2012). Cloning and identification of novel hydrolase genes from a dairy cow rumen metagenomic library and characterization of a cellulase gene, 5 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-5-566
Background: Interest in cellulose degrading enzymes has increased in recent years due to the expansion of the cellulosic biofuel industry. The rumen is a highly adapted environment for the degradation of cellulose and a promising source of enzymes for industrial use. To identify cellulase enzymes that may be of such use we have undertaken a functional metagenomic screen to identify cellulase enzymes from the bacterial community in the rumen of a grass-hay fed dairy cow. Results: Twenty five clones specifying cellulose activity were identified. Subcloning and sequence analysis of a subset of these hydrolase-positive clones identified 10 endoglucanase genes. Preliminary characterization of the encoded cellulases was carried out using crude extracts of each of the subclones. Zymogram analysis using carboxymethylcellulose as a substrate showed a single positive band for each subclone, confirming that only one functional cellulase gene was present in each. One cellulase gene, designated Cel14b22, was expressed at a high level in Escherichia coli and purified for further characterization. The purified recombinant enzyme showed optimal activity at pH 6.0 and 50°C. It was stable over a broad pH range, from pH 4.0 to 10.0. The activity was significantly enhanced by Mn§ssup§2+§esup§ and dramatically reduced by Fe§ssup§3+§esup§ or Cu§ssup§2+§esup§. The enzyme hydrolyzed a wide range of beta-1,3-, and beta-1,4-linked polysaccharides, with varying activities. Activities toward microcrystalline cellulose and filter paper were relatively high, while the highest activity was toward Oat Gum. Conclusion: The present study shows that a functional metagenomic approach can be used to isolate previously uncharacterized cellulases from the rumen environment. © 2012 Gong et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.