Jamie H. D. Cate

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The high cost of enzymes for saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass is a major barrier to the production of second generation biofuels. Using a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques, we report that filamentous fungi use oxidative enzymes to cleave glycosidic bonds in cellulose. Deletion of cdh-1, the gene encoding the major cellobiose(More)
The use of plant biomass for biofuel production will require efficient utilization of the sugars in lignocellulose, primarily glucose and xylose. However, strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae presently used in bioethanol production ferment glucose but not xylose. Yeasts engineered to ferment xylose do so slowly, and cannot utilize xylose until glucose is(More)
Neurospora crassa colonizes burnt grasslands in the wild and metabolizes both cellulose and hemicellulose from plant cell walls. When switched from a favored carbon source such as sucrose to cellulose, N. crassa dramatically upregulates expression and secretion of a wide variety of genes encoding lignocellulolytic enzymes. However, the means by which N.(More)
Fungal degradation of plant biomass may provide insights for improving cellulosic biofuel production. We show that the model cellulolytic fungus Neurospora crassa relies on a high-affinity cellodextrin transport system for rapid growth on cellulose. Reconstitution of the N. crassa cellodextrin transport system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae promotes efficient(More)
Plant biomass degradation by fungi requires a diverse set of secreted enzymes and significantly contributes to the global carbon cycle. Recent advances in genomic and systems-level studies have begun to reveal how filamentous ascomycete species exploit carbon sources in different habitats. These studies have laid the groundwork for unraveling new enzymatic(More)
Fungal-derived, copper-dependent polysaccharide monooxygenases (PMOs), formerly known as GH61 proteins, have recently been shown to catalyze the O(2)-dependent oxidative cleavage of recalcitrant polysaccharides. Different PMOs isolated from Neurospora crassa were found to generate oxidized cellodextrins modified at the reducing or nonreducing ends upon(More)
Ribozymes enhance chemical reaction rates using many of the same catalytic strategies as protein enzymes. In the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme, site-specific self-cleavage of the viral RNA phosphodiester backbone requires both divalent cations and a cytidine nucleotide. General acid-base catalysis, substrate destabilization and global and local(More)
The ubiquitous fungal polysaccharide monooxygenases (PMOs) (also known as GH61 proteins, LPMOs, and AA9 proteins) are structurally related but have significant variation in sequence. A heterologous expression method in Neurospora crassa was developed as a step toward connecting regioselectivity of the chemistry to PMO phylogeny. Activity assays, as well as(More)
The use of cellulases remains a major cost in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. Fungi secrete copper-dependent polysaccharide monooxygenases (PMOs) that oxidatively cleave crystalline cellulose and improve the effectiveness of cellulases. However, the means by which PMOs recognize and cleave their substrates in(More)
Bacterial adaptive immune systems use CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins for RNA-guided nucleic acid cleavage. Although most prokaryotic adaptive immune systems generally target DNA substrates, type III and VI CRISPR systems direct interference complexes against single-stranded RNA(More)