Case Study: Thermoacidophillic Cellulases

Thermoacidophillic Cellulases derived from extremophiles are active at extreme temperatures and levels of acidity and are therefore of great interest to the biofuel industry for the production of cellulosic ethanol. Cellulase genes SSO2534, SSO1949 and SAC1852 derived from the thermophillic archae Sulfolobus solfataricus (SSO) and Sulfolobus acidocaldaricus (SAC) were codon-optimized and expressed in Tetrahymena. Secreted enzymes were functionally active at optimums comprising high-temperature and low pH.



Functional analysis of thermoacidophillic cellulases. Secreted cellulases were tested for their ability to hydrolyze carboxymethylcellulose at their respective temperature and pH optimums in Congo Red plate assays. Areas of discoloration indicate enzyme activity. Control samples derived from wild-type cells did not show any activity.