Targeting protein-carbohydrate interactions in plant cell-wall biodegradation: the power of carbohydrate microarrays
The plant cell-wall is constituted by structurally diverse polysaccharides. The biodegradation of these is a crucial process for life sustainability. Cellulolytic microorganisms are highly efficient in this process by assembling modular architectures of carbohydrate-active enzymes with appended non-catalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs). Carbohydrate microarrays offer high-throughput and sensitive tools for uncovering carbohydrate-binding specificities of CBMs, which is pivotal to understand the function of these modules in polysaccharide biodegradation mechanisms. Features of this technology will be here briefly reviewed with highlights of microarray approaches to study plant-carbohydrates and CBM-carbohydrate interactions, along with an overview of plant polysaccharides and microorganisms strategies for their recognition.