Chapter 14 Cellulase Assays

  • Zhang Y
  • Hong J
  • Ye X
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Cellulose is a heterogeneous polysaccharide, and its enzymatic hydrolysis requires endoglucanase, exoglucanase (cellobiohydrolase), and b-glucosidase to work together. We summarize the most commonly used assays for individual enzymes and cellulase mixture. Cellulose, which is the most abundant renewable biological resource, is produced mainly by plant photosynthesis. Cellulose biodegradation mediated by cellulases or cellulolytic microorganisms releases organic carbon in plant, animal, and microbial sediments back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane. Complete enzymatic crystalline cellulose hydrolysis requires three types of enzymes (endoglucanase, exoglucanase or cellobiohy-drolase (CBH), and b-glucosidase) to work together (1-4). Physical heterogeneity of the cellulosic materials and the complexity of cellulase enzyme systems (synergy and/or competition) on solid enzyme-accessibility-limited substrate surfaces present some challenges for cellulase activity assays (5-8). A number of cellulase activity assays have been summarized (5, 6). In this chapter, we describe the common cellulase activity assays including the total cellulase assays, b-glucosidase assays, endoglucanase assays, and exoglucanase (CBH) assays. This chapter will provide some useful guidance, especially in Subheading 4.




Zhang, Y. H. P., Hong, J., & Ye, X. (n.d.). Chapter 14 Cellulase Assays. Business, 213–231.

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