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<p>Acetylxylanesterase enzyme</p>

Acetylxylanesterase enzyme

Enzymes are protein molecules that act in the same manner as chemical catalysts. The enzymatic activity of some bacterial proteins is particularly worthy of study, because under certain conditions it can be exploited in bio-technological applications. In this respect biocrystallography can be an essential analysis tool for understanding the relationship between molecular structure and function.


Elettra's contribution
Crystallography based on diffraction techniques and Elettra's X-rays has been employed by researchers to acquire detailed information on the three dimensional structure of one enzyme of bacterial origin. This enzyme - acetylxylanesterase - is of particular interest because of its ability to either modify or eliminate functional chemical groups present in the polysaccharides that make up the walls of vegetable cells.
Discovery of the mechanism of its biodegradative action could prove to be of great value to new industrial applications, particularly paper bleaching processes and the synthesis of modified antibiotics such as cephalosporin.


Facility: Beamline XRD1
Bibliography: Heterologous expression, purification, crystallization, X-ray analysis and phasing of the acetylxylanesterase from Bacillus pumilus; I. Krastanova, C. Guarnaccia, S. Zahariev, G. Degrassi, D. Lamba; Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1748: p 222; 2005.