Fiona Cuskin

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It is possible that the Bt mannan PULs target edible fungi cell walls in addition to yeast mannans. To test this hypothesis polysaccharides were extracted by a hot water extraction method from the common white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. The growth of the PUL-Man1/2/3 mutant was not impaired compared to wild type Bt when grown on a minimal media(More)
During the course of evolution, the cellulosome, one of Nature's most intricate multi-enzyme complexes, has been continuously fine-tuned to efficiently deconstruct recalcitrant carbohydrates. To facilitate the uptake of released sugars, anaerobic bacteria use highly ordered protein-protein interactions to recruit these nanomachines to the cell surface.(More)
Noncatalytic carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) are components of glycoside hydrolases that attack generally inaccessible substrates. CBMs mediate a two- to fivefold elevation in the activity of endo-acting enzymes, likely through increasing the concentration of the appended enzymes in the vicinity of the substrate. The function of CBMs appended to(More)
The complex carbohydrates accessible to the distal gut microbiota (DGM) are key drivers in determining the structure of this ecosystem. Typically, plant cell wall polysaccharides and recalcitrant starch (i.e. dietary fiber), in addition to host glycans are considered the primary nutrients for the DGM; however, we recently demonstrated that α-mannans, highly(More)
The antibiotic bacillaene is biosynthesized in Bacillus subtilis by a hybrid type 1 modular polyketide synthase/nonribosomal peptide synthetase of the trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) class. Within this system, the essential acyl-group loading activity is provided by the action of three free-standing trans-acting acyltransferases. Here, the recombinant(More)
Yeasts, which have been a component of the human diet for at least 7,000 years, possess an elaborate cell wall α-mannan. The influence of yeast mannan on the ecology of the human microbiota is unknown. Here we show that yeast α-mannan is a viable food source for the Gram-negative bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a dominant member of the microbiota.(More)
The enzymatic cleavage of β-1,4-mannans is achieved by endo-β-1,4-mannanases, enzymes involved in germination of seeds and microbial hemicellulose degradation, and which have increasing industrial and consumer product applications. β-Mannanases occur in a range of families of the CAZy sequence-based glycoside hydrolase (GH) classification scheme including(More)
The enzymatic degradation of plant cell walls is an important biological process of increasing environmental and industrial significance. Xylan, a major component of the plant cell wall, consists of a backbone of β-1,4-xylose (Xylp) units that are often decorated with arabinofuranose (Araf) side chains. A large penta-modular enzyme, CtXyl5A, was shown(More)
Glycans are major nutrients available to the human gut microbiota. The Bacteroides are generalist glycan degraders, and this function is mediated largely by polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs). The genomes of several Bacteroides species contain a PUL, PUL1,6-β-glucan, that was predicted to target mixed linked plant 1,3;1,4-β-glucans. To test this(More)
The large bowel microbiota, a complex ecosystem resident within the gastrointestinal tract of all human beings and large mammals, functions as an essential, nonsomatic metabolic organ, hydrolysing complex dietary polysaccharides and modulating the host immune system to adequately tolerate ingested antigens. A significant member of this community,(More)