Thursday, May 2, 2013: 1:25 PM
Grand Ballroom I, Ballroom Level
The efficient catalytic conversion of biomass to bioenergy would meet a large portion of energy requirements in the near future. A crucial step in this process is the enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose that is then converted into fuel such as ethanol by fermentation. Here we use single-molecule fluorescence imaging to directly monitor the movement of individual Cel7A cellobiohydrolases from Trichoderma reesei (TrCel7A) interacting with insoluble cellulose substrates in order to elucidate molecular-level details of cellulase activity. The motion of multiple, individual TrCel7A cellobiohydrolases was simultaneously recorded with ~15 nanometer spatial resolution. Time-resolved localization microscopy provides insights on binding and processivity of TrCel7A on cellulose and informs on non-productive binding and diffusion. We measured single-molecule residency time distributions of TrCel7A bound to cellulose both in the presence of and absence of cellobiose the major product and a potent inhibitor of Cel7A activity. Combining these results with a kinetic model of TrCel7A binding provides microscopic insight into interactions between TrCel7A and the cellulose substrate.