Mapping the deformability of natural and designed cellulosomes in solution

Jonathan Dorival, Sarah Moraïs, Aurore Labourel, Bartosz Rozycki, Pierre Andre Cazade, Jérôme Dabin, Eva Setter-Lamed, Itzhak Mizrahi, Damien Thompson, Aurélien Thureau, Edward A. Bayer, Mirjam Czjzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background : Natural cellulosome multi-enzyme complexes, their components, and engineered ‘designer cellulosomes’ (DCs) promise an efficient means of breaking down cellulosic substrates into valuable biofuel products. Their broad uptake in biotechnology relies on boosting proximity-based synergy among the resident enzymes, but the modular architecture challenges structure determination and rational design. Results: We used small angle X-ray scattering combined with molecular modeling to study the solution structure of cellulosomal components. These include three dockerin-bearing cellulases with distinct substrate specificities, original scaffoldins from the human gut bacterium Ruminococcus champanellensis (ScaA, ScaH and ScaK) and a trivalent cohesin-bearing designer scaffoldin (Scaf20L), followed by cellulosomal complexes comprising these components, and the nonavalent fully loaded Clostridium thermocellum CipA in complex with Cel8A from the same bacterium. The size analysis of Rg and Dmax values deduced from the scattering curves and corresponding molecular models highlight their variable aspects, depending on composition, size and spatial organization of the objects in solution. Conclusions: Our data quantifies variability of form and compactness of cellulosomal components in solution and confirms that this native plasticity may well be related to speciation with respect to the substrate that is targeted. By showing that scaffoldins or components display enhanced compactness compared to the free objects, we provide new routes to rationally enhance their stability and performance in their environment of action.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Bionanomachinery
  • Designer cellulosomes
  • Molecular modeling
  • Multi-enzyme complex
  • SAXS
  • Scaffoldins
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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