Daniel Kracher, PhD
Current position: PostDoc
Until recently, the degradation of cellulose by fungi has been attributed to a set of diversified cellulases, which hydrolyse the glucan chains in cellulose into soluble sugars. In 2010, the discovery of a fungal oxidative enzyme system that boosts the activity of canonical cellulases changed this enzymatic paradigm. In an extracellular electron transfer process, the flavocytochrome cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) activates lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO), which initiates the oxidation and cleavage of recalcitrant crystalline cellulose surfaces. The importance of the CDH/LPMO bi-enzymatic system has been shown in several studies and is also obvious from the abundance of lpmo and cdh genes in fungal genomes. The mobility of the CDH cytochrome domain has been frequently linked to LPMO activation, but the molecular basis and kinetics of this interaction await experimental clarification. The main objective of my work is to investigate and visualize domain mobility in the CDH/LPMO system and to correlate the protein dynamics to individual electron transfer steps.