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Biotechnology for Biofuels

, 7:135

First Online: 18 October 2014Received: 05 June 2014Accepted: 03 September 2014


Second generation biofuel development is increasingly reliant on the recombinant expression of cellulases. Designing or identifying successful expression systems is thus of preeminent importance to industrial progress in the field. Recombinant production of cellulases has been performed using a wide range of expression systems in bacteria, yeasts and plants. In a number of these systems, particularly when using bacteria and plants, significant challenges have been experienced in expressing full-length proteins or proteins at high yield. Further difficulties have been encountered in designing recombinant systems for surface-display of cellulases and for use in consolidated bioprocessing in bacteria and yeast. For establishing cellulase expression in plants, various strategies are utilized to overcome problems, such as the auto-hydrolysis of developing plant cell walls. In this review, we investigate the major challenges, as well as the major advances made to date in the recombinant expression of cellulases across the commonly used bacterial, plant and yeast systems. We review some of the critical aspects to be considered for industrial-scale cellulase production.

KeywordsCellulase Heterologous expression Cellulosome Consolidated bioprocessing Industrial processing AbbreviationsBGlβ-glucosidase


CBMCarbohydrate-binding module

CBPConsolidated bioprocessing

CMCCarboxymethyl cellulose


EREndoplasmic reticulum

RESSRepression under secretion stress

SecSecretion protein

SNAREsSoluble NSF N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment receptor proteins

TatTwin-arginine transporter

TSPTotal soluble protein

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s13068-014-0135-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Camilla Lambertz - Megan Garvey - Johannes Klinger - Dirk Heesel - Holger Klose - Rainer Fischer - Ulrich Commandeur


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