The Synthetic Potential of Fungal Feruloyl Esterases: A Correlation with Current Classification Systems and Predicted Structural Properties

Io Antonopoulou, Adiphol Dilokpimol, Laura Iancu, Miia R. Mäkelä, Simona Varriale, Gabriella Cerullo, Silvia Hüttner, Stefan Uthoff, Peter Jütten, Alexander Piechot, Alexander Steinbüchel, Lisbeth Olsson, Vincenza Faraco, Kristina S. Hildén, Ronald P. de Vries, Ulrika Rova, and Paul Christakopoulos

Catalysts, Jun. 2018, 8 (6), 242.,  DOI:10.3390/catal8060242.;

Abstract:
Twenty-eight fungal feruloyl esterases (FAEs) were evaluated for their synthetic abilities in a ternary system of n-hexane: t-butanol: 100 mM MOPS-NaOH pH 6.0 forming detergentless microemulsions. Five main derivatives were synthesized, namely prenyl ferulate, prenyl caffeate, butyl ferulate, glyceryl ferulate, and L-arabinose ferulate, offering, in general, higher yields when more hydrophilic alcohol substitutions were used. Acetyl xylan esterase-related FAEs belonging to phylogenetic subfamilies (SF) 5 and 6 showed increased synthetic yields among tested enzymes. In particular, it was shown that FAEs belonging to SF6 generally transesterified aliphatic alcohols more efficiently while SF5 members preferred bulkier L-arabinose. Predicted surface properties and structural characteristics were correlated with the synthetic potential of selected tannase-related, acetyl-xylan-related, and lipase-related FAEs (SF1-2, -6, -7 members) based on homology modeling and small molecular docking simulations.

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