The production of second-generation ethanol (2GE) can be a viable alternative for the current energetic crisis because it is a renewable source and uses residues of lignocellulosic biomass as raw material. However, the cost of 2GE is relatively high, and the value of enzymatic preparations used in the hydrolytic process contributes to increase it. The rational development of enzymatic cocktails necessarily depends on the analysis and understanding of the protein structure-function relationship and synergetic studies of individual components from enzymatic preparations. The carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) often mediate the recognition of cellulose by celluloses, increasing considerably their enzymatic activity in this insoluble and polymeric substrate. Through extensive utilization of techniques such as cloning, expression, purification, enzymatic assays, crystallization and structural resolution of CBMs, from several proteins of different organisms, we expect to obtain structural and functional data of CBMs since the characteristics, which guarantee the substrate specificity of these domains, in many cases are not well understood at the molecular level. In addition, this knowledge may reflect directly in our capacity to produce new and more efficient enzymatic preparations for depolymerisation of different types of biomass available in the country.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: