Designed by: Yetao Zou   Group: iGEM18_UESTC-China   (2018-09-30)

Xyn10D-Fae1A:Bifunctional xylanase/ferulic acid esterase

Xyn10D-fae1A is a bifunctional enzyme, which has the activity of ferulic esterase and xylanase. Feruloyl esterase can hydrolyze ferulic acid ester groups, which are responsible for attaching in complex cellular cell wall structures. Xylanase can hydrolyze plant cell wall component xylan. This part is responsible for pretreatment of straw.

Sequence and Features

Assembly Compatibility:
  • 10
  • 12
  • 21
  • 23
  • 25
    Illegal NgoMIV site found at 534
    Illegal AgeI site found at 381
    Illegal AgeI site found at 628
  • 1000
    Illegal SapI.rc site found at 1236


Molecular weight

This gene codes for a protein of 726 amino acids with a molecular mass of 82.3 kDa.

Detection of ferulic acid

To detect the expression of Xyn10D-Fae1A gene(piGEM2018-Module001), we converted carrying Xyn10D-Fae1A gene to co-culture with straw culture medium. Gas chromatography was used to detect ferulic acid [1]. The ferulic acid production was monitored by periodically taking samples from the fermentation liquid of E. coli BL21(DE3) carrying Xyn10D-Fae1A gene. GC results showed that the peak of ferulic acid was appeared after fermentation for 24h with the strain carrying Xyn10D-Fae1A gene, while no ferulic acid was detected in the sample of E. coli BL21(DE3) without vector (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 The production of ferulic acid determined using GC. The supernatants of fermented liquid of E. coli BL21(DE3) with or without Xyn10D-Fae1A gene were used for the determination of ferulic acid, respectively. Samples were taken from reaction mixtureat 0h, 24h.

The ferulic acid peak was further analyzed by using GC-MS (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Mass spectrums of ferulic acid derivative. Sample was the supernatants of E. coli BL21(DE3) carrying Xyn10D-Fae1A gene after fermentation for 24h.

Enzyme activity of xylanase

Xylanase can decompose xylan to xylose. Comparing with wild type,our E. coli carrying Xyn10D-Fae1A gene take effect [2] (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Xylanase Activity on Xylan. Data were measured inphosphate buffer solution at pH 6.0 and 40℃.

Enzyme activity of ferulic acid esterase

Ferulic acid esterase can decompose 4-nitrophenyl trans-ferulate to produce p-nitrophenol and ferulic acid. We used crude extract fraction of strain to detect enzyme activity [3].

Fig. 4 Enzyme Activity of Ferulic acid esterase. Data were measured in phosphate buffer solution at pH 6.4 and 40℃.

The results (Fig. 4) showed that the ferulic acid enzyme activity of our strain was much higher than that of the wild type.


[1] Qiu-Yi, L. I., Gan, G. P., Wang, G. Z., & Liu, Y. W. (2007). Determination of ferulic acid in ligusticum chuanxiong hort. oil by gc. Lishizhen Medicine & Materia Medica Research.

[2] Shen C, Li R, Hu T & Yan K. 2011. Determination of xylanase activity with DNS method. Dyeing & Finishing, 2: 35-39.

[3] Zhang S, Pei X & Wu Z. 2009. Cloning and expression of feruloyl esterase A from Aspergillus niger, and establishment of fast activity detection methods. Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology, 2: 276-279.

biologyPrevotella ruminicola