The role of binding modules in enzymatic poly(ethylene terephthalate) hydrolysis at high solids loadings

Rosie Graham, Erika Erickson, Richard K. Brizendine, Davinia Salvachúa, William E. Michener, Yaohao Li, Zhongping Tan, Gregg T. Beckham, John McGeehan, Andrew Pickford

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In nature, enzymes that deconstruct biological polymers, such as cellulose and chitin, often exhibit multi-domain architectures, comprising a catalytic domain and a non-catalytic binding module, the latter serves to increase the enzyme concentration at the substrate surface. This multi-domain architecture has been shown to improve the hydrolysis of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) using engineered cutinase enzymes. Here, we examine the role of accessory binding modules at industrially-relevant PET solids loadings that will be necessary for cost-effective enzymatic recycling. Using a thermostable variant of the leaf compost cutinase (LCC), we produced synthetic fusion constructs of LCC with five Type A carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs). At solids loadings below 10 wt%, the CBMs improve aromatic monomer yield from PET, but above this threshold, conversion extents up to 97% are reached with no added benefits from the presence of CBM fusions. This suggests that fusion constructs with the herein studied non-catalytic binding modules are not necessary for industrial enzymatic PET recycling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2644-2657
JournalChem Catalysis
Issue number10
Early online date23 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022


  • interfacial biocatalysis
  • carbohydrate-binding module
  • enzymatic recycling
  • chemical recycling
  • polyester
  • cutinase
  • PETase
  • enzyme chimera


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