APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biofuel production
- Eliminates need for cellobiohydrolase
- Potential to replace other cellulase sources for biomass pretreatment and saccharification
Active components of the JTherm enzymatic cocktail have been identified by JBEI, enabling heterologous production of critical enzymes to enable new, commercially feasible approaches for converting biomass into bio-based fuels and chemicals. JTherm is a key component for commercial feasibility of some of the most effective biomass conversion technologies available, in particular ionic liquid (IL) pretreatment of biomass for subsequent recovery of fermentable sugars in “one-pot” processes.
The JTherm cocktail saccharifies IL-pretreated biomass at higher temperatures and in the presence of much higher IL concentrations than commercial fungal cocktails. Sugars obtained from saccharification of IL-pretreated switchgrass using this cocktail have been converted into numerous fermented bioproducts.
Identification and sequencing of the key active JTherm enzymes allows commercial production of a proprietary recombinant enzyme product.
The active component of Jtherm was originally identified as an “endoglucanase”. JBEI used biochemical techniques to enrich the active fraction of Jtherm. JBEI has demonstrated that the active component is a protein complex with multiple glycoside hydrolases (GH9, GH48, GH6/5 and GH10), and that this protein complex is capable of hydrolyzing ionic liquid-pretreated biomass to glucose by addition of a beta-glucosidase without supplement of the cellobiohydrolase.
Each of these components has been individually expressed in E. coli and the GH9 and GH6/5 proteins demonstrate substantial ability to hydrolyze crystalline cellulose at elevated temperatures.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
STATUS: Published PCT Patent Application US2016/063198 (Publication WO/2017/087982A1). Published U. S. Patent Application #15/985,216 (Publication 2018/0371443 A1). Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Ionic Liquid-tolerant Cellulase Enzymes, EJIB-3264