A new versatile microarray-based method for high-throughput screening of carbohydrate-active enzymes [Enzymology]

February 5th, 2015 by Vidal–Melgosa, S., Pedersen, H. L., Schuckel, J., Arnal, G., Dumon, C., Amby, D. B., Nygaard Monrad, R., Westereng, B., Willats, W. G. T.

Carbohydrate-active enzymes have multiple biological roles and industrial applications. Advances in genome and transcriptome sequencing, together with associated bioinformatic tools have identified vast numbers of putative carbohydrate degrading and modifying enzymes including glycoside hydrolases and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases. However, there is a paucity of methods for rapidly screening the activities of these enzymes. By combining the multiplexing capacity of carbohydrate microarrays with the specificity of molecular probes, we have developed a sensitive, high-throughput and versatile semi-quantitative enzyme-screening technique which requires low amounts of enzyme and substrate. The method can be used to assess the activities of single enzymes, enzyme cocktails and crude culture broths against single substrates, substrate mixtures and biomass samples. Moreover, we show that the technique can be used to analyse both endo-acting and exo-acting glycoside hydrolases, polysaccharide lyases, carbohydrate esterases and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases. We demonstrate the potential of the technique by identifying the substrate specificities of purified un-characterised enzymes and by screening enzyme activities from fungal culture broths.