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News

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This page is a simple compilation of all the blurbs that have appeared in the "Latest news" section of the CAZypedia Main Page.

Latest news

10 April 2017: A classic GH family: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 22 page was completed today by Spencer Williams, with editorial input from Responsible Curator David Vocadlo. GH22 contains the classic bacterial peptidoglycan hydrolase, hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL), the first enzyme for which the three-dimensional structure was solved (reported in 1965). Moreover, seminal enzyme-carbohydrate complex structures have made HEWL a paradigm for glycosidases that operate through the classical Koshland retaining mechanism. Although the nature of the reaction intermediate remained contentious for many years since the original proposal of an oxacarbenium ion-carboxylate pair, a definitive study by Vocadlo, Davies, Laine, and Withers resolved the covalent nature of the glycosyl-enzyme HEWL in 2001, thus bringing mechanistic understanding of this classic enzyme in concordance with other retaining GH families. The lysozyme fold of HEWL defines the archetype for other hexosaminidases (i.e. those of GH19 and GH23) and the non-catalytic alpha-lactalbumins, and this fold notably has also been observed in recently emergent families of cellulases (GH124) and mannanases (GH134). Find out more about this classic GH family here!


2 December 2016: A new CAZyme-specific journal: The journal Amylase has been recently launched under the editorial leadership of Stefan Janecek and a number of other CAZypedians, including Bernard Henrissat, Magali Remaud-Simeon, Birte Svensson, Pedro Coutinho, and Leila LoLeggio. Amylase is an open access journal that will focus on the biochemistry and biotechnology of starch hydrolases and related alpha-glucan-active enzymes, such as those from GH13, GH70, and GH77 (Clan GH-H), as well as GH57, GH119, GH14, GH15, and GH31. Visit the Amylase homepage for more information on the scope of the journal and details on how to submit manuscripts for publication.


Older news

29 November 2016: A small family of beta-xylosidases: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 120 page was completed and given Curator Approved status today by Spencer Williams. GH120 is currently a very small family, comprised of ca. 100 members originating exclusively from bacteria. Following the initial identification of this family in 2011, enzymological and structural studies of two beta-xylosidases have revealed specifics of the catalytic mechanism (retaining) and an unusual beta-helix/beta-sandwich two-domain, tetrameric protein architecture. Notably, the beta-helix domain resembles that of Polysaccharide Lyase Family 1 and Glycoside Hydrolase Family 28 members, and a complex structure with xylose revealed a large number of potential Surface Binding Sites.


16 November 2016: A new plant glycanase with a lysozyme fold: Spencer Williams does it again, with the completion of the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 134 page on a new family of inverting beta-(gluco)mannanases. This small family emerged in 2015 with the biochemical characterization of an Aspergillus nidulans (fungal) member. Recently the tertiary structure and detailed catalytic mechanism - including the reaction conformational itinerary - of a Streptomyces sp. (bacterial) GH134 member has been resolved by Gideon Davies, Spencer Williams, and their collaborators and co-workers. This is only the second example of a glycoside hydrolase family that utilizes a lysozyme-like fold as a scaffold for the cleavge of a plant polysaccharide, as opposed to bacterial peptidoglycan; the first, a Glycoside Hydrolase Family 124 cellulase characterized by Harry Gilbert et al., also uses an inverting mechanism.


3 November 2016: New PDB links-out: For 3-D visualization of exemplar CAZymes and CBMs, we're trying a switch from Proteopedia to the NGL viewer implementation at the RCSB Protein Data Bank. We've made this switch site-wide across CAZypedia, and would like to hear any feedback you might have. Here's an example for direct comparison: The seminal bacterial cellulose synthase complex in the JSMol viewer at Proteopedia (including wiki page) and in the NGL viewer at the PDB (other info available via the page tabs).


30 October 2016: Another X-module comes to light: Today Spencer Williams completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 135 page, which describes the genesis of a new CAZy family from a small group of modules formerly known as "X307" in the CAZyModO classification. The single biochemically and structurally characterized GH135 member hydrolyzes the unique fungal exo-polysaccharide galactosaminogalactan, with crystallographic evidence suggesting that the enzyme acts as a alpha-galactosaminidase. However, a number of key enzymological questions about this new family remain outstanding, and we look forward to future work in this direction of the CAZyme landscape.


3 September 2016: Galactosaminoglycan degradation: Spencer Williams has just completed a short entry on Glycoside Hydrolase Family 114, a small family of bacterial and fungal sequences currently represented by a single characterized endo-alpha-1,4-polygalactosaminidase. alpha-1,4-Polygalactosamine, also known as galactosaminoglycan, is produced as a secreted polysaccharide by select fungi, including Aspergilli.


27 February 2016: The sweet side of sulfur: Author Spencer Williams has updated the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 31 page to reflect the recent discovery of the first dedicated sulfoquinovosidases (SQases), previously ‘hidden’ within this family. SQases cleave α-glycosides of sulfoquinovose (6-sulfoglucose), which represent a significant reservoir of organosulfur in the biosphere. See the GH31 page to discover more of the hidden charms of this family.


11 September 2015: Let's hear it for the transglycosylases!: Today, Authors Ramon Hurtado-Guerrero and Thierry Fontaine, together with Responsible Curator Bernard Henrissat, completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 72 page. GH72 is a small but important family of beta(1-3)-glucan transglycosylases that function to remodel the cell wall during the growth of yeast and other fungi. Predominant or strict transglycosylases are relatively rare in GH families, with other notable examples coming from GH13, GH16, GH31, GH70, and GH77. Read more about GH72 and what makes transglycosylases so interesting here in CAZypedia!


6 August 2015: Live from the Cellulase/CAZyme GRC: CAZypedia marches on with the completion of the Polysaccharide Lyase Family 1 today by Responsible Curator and Author Richard Pickersgill, with additional editing by Polysaccharide Lyase Families coordinator Wade Abbott. PL1 contains pectate lyases from microbes and plants, which are key enzymes in plant cell wall remodelling/break-down. The solution of the crystal structure of a pectate lyase C from the plant pathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi was the first to reveal the parallel beta-helix as a novel protein fold that is now known to serve as the scaffold of other pectinolytic enzymes, including pectin hydrolases (GH28) and pectin methylesterases (CE8). Read more about the discovery of pectate lyases and the enzymology and crystallography of PL1 here.


28 July 2015: 100 GH FAMILIES!!! We are extremely pleased to announce that CAZypedia has reached the key milestone of 100 Curator Approved Glycoside Hydrolase Family pages today, thanks to the completion of the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 12 page by Gerlind Sulzenbacher. GH12 is one of the classic "cellulase" families (formerly known as cellulase family H) defined early in the history of the CAZy classification; GH12 is now known to comprise both microbial endo-glucanases and endo-xyloglucanases. The completion of this page is especially timely in advance of the upcoming 2015 GRC on Cellulosomes, Cellulases & Other Carbohydrate Modifying Enzymes, happening next week. Gerlind performed the seminal crystallography in this family (under the mentorship of Gideon Davies), and we would especially like to thank her for producing an excellent summary and series of figures for the "Three-dimensional structures" section.


The Board of Curators would also like to take the opportunity of this key milestone to express our sincere gratitude to our many expert Contributors for their time and dedication to building CAZypedia as a community-based resource over the past 8 years. In addition to the 100 Curator Approved GH pages, CAZypedia also currently contains 5 PL Family pages, 2 AA Family pages, 2 GT Family pages, 10 CBM Family pages, and 22 Lexicon pages!


19 March 2015: Closing-in on 100: CAZypedia is on the way to an important milestone, our 100th Curator Approved Glycoside Hydrolase Family page. Thanks go to our colleagues Tomomi Sumida, who completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 123 page on March 17, and Wataru Saburi and Haruhide Mori, who completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 130 page on March 18. Members of these two GH families represent very distinct structures, specificities, and mechanisms, about which you can learn more on their individual pages. The high GH family numbers of these two groups reflect their comparatively recent addition to the CAZy Database and highlight the continuing evolution of the field through the discovery of new CAZymes.


23 February 2015: The sites that bind: Birte Svensson and Darrell Cockburn have completed the Surface Binding Site page within the CAZypedia Lexicon. Surface binding sites are substrate-binding regions found on the catalytic domain of carbohydrate-active enzymes and appear to play complementary roles to carbohydrate-binding modules in facilitating the action of polysaccharide-degrading glycoside hydrolases. Read more about these intriguing features and their distribution among CAZymes here.


20 February 2015: One for the Gals: Harry Gilbert has given the Carbohydrate Binding Module Family 62 page, which was authored by Cedric Montanier, Curator Approved status today. Functional and structural characterization of the archetypal CBM62 member from a Clostridium thermocellum xylanase revealed a strong affinity for galactose residues of either anomeric configuration on plant polysaccharides. Although the precise roles of this and other CBM62 members remains somewhat ambiguous, it is clear that these modules are relevant to the targeting of enzymes to the composite plant cell wall. Read more about the work of the all-star team that put CBM62 on the map (of CAZy families), here.


19 January 2015: Still in the high 70's today: Zui Fujimoto brought the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 78 page up to Curator Approved status today, making it CAZypedia's 97th approved GH page. GH78 is a family of archaeal, bacterial, and fungal alpha-L-rhamnosidases that cleave diverse flavonoid glycosides, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and glycolipids from plants. Read more on these ecologically relevant enzymes here.


7 January 2015: Love your guts: CAZypedia is ringing in the new year with a new Glycoside Hydrolase Family 76 page by Spencer Williams. GH76 contains endo-acting α-mannanases, including members from the human gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron that enable us to degrade yeast mannans in our diet. A very recent publication in Nature, notably involving CAZypedia contributors Michael Suits, Al Boraston, Spencer Williams, Gideon Davies, Wade Abbott, and Harry Gilbert, has recently shed new light on the structure, mechanism, and biological function of these enzymes. Read more here!


11 September 2014: Another PL family done: Today, Richard McLean and Wade Abbott finished the Polysaccharide Lyase Family 22 page, bringing the number of Curator Approved PL pages in CAZypedia to a total of 5 (of 23). PL22 is a family of bacterial (and a handful of archeal) oligogalacturonide lyases (OGLs), archetypal members of which are highly specific for digalacturonate and Δ4,5-unsaturated digalacturonate i.e., they do not cleave polymeric α-(1,4)-linked galacturonan, a component of pectin. Wade performed a seminal crystallographic analysis of PL22, and he and Richard have produced a lucid distillation of the mechanism of catalysis in this family. Read more here!


9 September 2014: 2-for-1 Back to School Special: With the start of the new academic year, we are happy to report that two new Polysaccharide Lyase Family pages have recently been completed and given Curator Approved status. In August, Naotake Konno and Shinya Fushinobu produced the Polysaccharide Lyase Family 20 page, which describes this small (currently, 18 member) group of bacterial and fungal beta-(1-4)-glucuronan-cleaving enzymes. And, on the 7th of this month, Sine Larsen and Leila LoLeggio composed the Polysaccharide Lyase Family 4 page. Currently, PL4 is only known to contain rhamnogalacturonan lyases involved in pectin degradation, notably including many plant sequences in addition to bacterial and fungal members. We thank these Authors and Responsible Curators for their contributions and encourage our readers to check out these new pages.


2 July 2014: More on the alpha-amylase clan: We are pleased to report that Stefan Janecek has made another key contribution to CAZypedia by completing the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 77 page today. GH77 contains enzymes variously known as amylomaltases, 4-α-glucanotransferases, or disproportionating enzymes (D-enzymes in plants), which catalyze (1-4)-to-(1-4) transglycosylation of alpha-glucan chains and form part of the starch/glycogen debranching system. Together with GH13 and GH70, GH77 constitutes Clan GH-H, a clan of alpha-glucan-specific enzymes united by a common (β/α)8 catalytic domain fold. Stefan is the founder and main organiser of ALAMY - the international symposia on the alpha-amylase enzyme family - and has been a key person in producing the GH13, GH70, GH77 pages in CAZypedia; we are especially grateful for all his hard work and expertise!


23 June 2014: "LysM" domains in CAZypedia: The cohort of Carbohydrate Binding Module Families covered in CAZypedia continues to grow with the completion of the Carbohydrate Binding Module Family 50 by Takayuki Ohnuma and Toki Taira. CBM50 members are also known as LysM domains, which are found in a range of enzymes beyond glycoside hydrolases, including proteases, in which they are believed to facilitate targeting and degradation the bacterial cell wall. Read more here...!


14 May 2014: Two new CBM pages: We are pleased to report that Shinya Fushinobu has produced and given Curator Approved status to two new CBM pages. Carbohydrate Binding Module Family 28 contains Type B CBMs that target non-crystalline beta-glucan chains, while Carbohydrate Binding Module Family 42 members are Type C CBMs that bind terminal, non-reducing-end L-arabinofuranosyl residues, as found in xylans. Both families are likely to play key role in potentiating biomass degradation by their host organisms, and are therefore relevant to related biotechnological applications.


6 February 2014: Our second LPMO page: Glyn Hemsworth and Gideon Davies have just completed the Auxiliary Activity Family 11 page. AA11 is a very recently discovered family of copper-dependent, lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases (LPMO), whose defining member catalyzes the oxidative cleavage of chitin. The LPMO field is particularly exciting and rapidly evolving, and we are proud to present the AA11 page in CAZypedia so closely after the initial report on this family.


17 January 2014: More on CBMs: The Carbohydrate Binding Module Family 41 page was upgraded to Curator Approved status today by Alicia Lammerts van Bueren and Al Boraston. CBM41 is a family of alpha-glucan-binding modules, which are primarily associated with the pullulanases and debranching enzymes of Glycoside Hydrolase Family 13. Find out more here...!


6 January 2014: A new year, a new CBM page! The Carbohydrate Binding Module Family 6 page was completed and given Curator Approved status today by Author and Curator Mirjam Czjzek. CBM6 was originally defined based on the observation of xylan binding, however the diversity of substrate specificities in this family has now grown to include diverse beta-glucans, chitin, and even the marine polysaccharide agarose; remarkably, some CBM6 members also contain two distinct binding sites. The CBM6 page is CAZypedia's second Carbohydrate Binding Module Family page, and we look forward to the further expansion of this section in the new year!


18 December 2013: A new mannanase page: Today, Rohan Williams and Spencer Williams completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 113 page. GH113 is currently a very small family (120 members) with only one characterized member, the Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius beta(1-4)-mannanase. The seminal crystal structure of this enzyme revealed GH113 to be a member of Clan GH-A. A recent publication from the Williams team and collaborators illuminated further details of the GH113 and GH26 transition states using designed inhibitor-enzyme complexes. Read more about this emerging family here!


New for fall 2013: The CAZy database now presents enzyme ligands! See any family's "Structure" page for examples.


6 October 2013: GH66 page upgraded to Curator Approved status: Today, Responsible Curator Zui Fujimoto formally approved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 66 page, Authored by Ryuichiro Suzuki, as complete and ready for public viewing. GH66 is a very small family, currently containing ca. 60 members, of α(1-6)-glucan hydrolases (a.k.a. dextranases) and cyclo-isomalto-oligosaccharide glucanotransferases. Through a series of elegant studies including biochemical and crystallographic analyses, Dr. Fujimoto and his collaborators have provided direct insight into catalysis by this unique family. Read more about the long history of these enzymes here!


30 September 2013: Our first PL page!: Wade Abbott finalized CAZypedia's first Polysaccharide Lyase Family page, PL2, today. As with our recent foray into CBM families (see our May 22 news item) the extension of CAZypedia to include the PLs ushers in a new phase in our development, and we are very much looking forward to the evolution of this new group of pages, spearheaded by Wade Abbott and Michael Suits. If you are an expert on any of the 22 PL families in the CAZy Database and would like to contribute to CAZypedia, please contact us here.


19 September 2013: We are proud to announce the completion of CAZypedia's first Auxiliary Activity (AA) Family page! Paul Harris, one of the founding fathers of the family previously known as GH61, has composed a lucid summary of the history and state-of-the-art of Auxiliary Activity Family 9. The revelation that these enzymes are actually copper-dependent lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases (LPMO), and not classic cellulases as originally thought, is one of the most exciting discoveries in enzymatic biomass degradation in recent years. Read more about this fascinating class of enzymes on the here, and stay tuned for forthcoming page on the closely related AA10 family.


28 June 2013: CAZypedia was highlighted in a review article in Current Opinion in Structural Biology available online today. This review provides a succinct overview of some of the most exciting CAZyme structure-function studies in recent years, and we'd like to thank the authors, Shinya Fushinobu, Victor Alves, and Pedro Coutinho, for showcasing CAZypedia as well!


23 June 2013: Yet another Lexicon page: With the help of Motomitsu Kitaoka, Spencer Williams updated the Lexicon page on Phosphorylases today to Curator Approved status, bringing the number of completed Lexicon pages to 20. Phosphorylases catalyze glycosidic bond cleavage through nucleophilic substitution with phosphate (PO4--), and play important roles in, for example, storage polysaccharide breakdown by generating glucose-1-phosphate as a precursor to glycolysis. Notably, phosphorylases based on both glycoside hydrolase and glycosyltransferase protein folds are known. Read more about this important class of carbohydrate-active enzymes here.


22 May 2013: Our very first CBM page!: Elizabeth Ficko-Blean and Alisdair Boraston finalized CAZypedia's first Carbohydrate Binding Module Family page, CBM32, today. This ushers in a new phase in CAZypedia's development, and we are looking forward to the continued evolution of this group of pages on these non-catalytic, substrate-binding, CAZyme-associated protein modules.


2 May 2013: Adding on to the Lexicon: Today Spencer Williams added the finishing touches to the Lexicon page on Transglycosylases. Transglycosylation - the ability to non-hydrolytically rearrange glycosidic bonds between one or more substrates - is a feature of many Glycoside hydrolases, especially those which use the retaining mechanism. In such enzymes, the covalent glycosyl-enzyme reaction intermediate can be intercepted by either water (yielding hydrolysis) or a sugar "acceptor" substrate (yielding transglycosylation). Although transglycosylation is generally a side activity of retaining enzymes, a handful are naturally very predominant Transglycosylases. See the Lexicon page to learn more, including specific examples!


16 Jan 2013: Class I mannosidases × Williams2 = 90th CAZypedia GH page. Rohan Williams and Spencer Williams completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 47 page today to give CAZypedia its 90th Curator Approved GH page. GH47 is particularly important because it contains alpha-1,2 mannosidases that are responsible for N-glycan processing in eukaryotes. Delineated by subfamily membership, these eukaryotic mannosidases function either in glycoprotein maturation or endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). Very few bacterial GH47 members are known, in contrast, and their function(s) has not been widely studied. From a mechanistic perspective, GH47 members are intriguing because the catalytic residues have not been unambiguously identified, despite high-resolution structure-function studies of these inverting enzymes. Check out the GH47 page to learn more!


14 Jan 2013: CAZypedia makes a contribution to MediaWiki community. We are proud to announce that BiblioPlus, an extension that provides automatic reference formatting to CAZypedia, has been officially accepted by the MediaWiki Extensions repository. BiblioPlus was coded by Karen Eddy, a UBC computer science student working with Harry Brumer, to resolve formatting issues with non-English characters in PubMed data. BiblioPlus is now available for anyone to use with any MediaWiki-based site to facilitate referencing journals and books. Thanks Karen, for all the hard work!


02 Dec 2012: Spencer does it again, twice. Spencer Williams has upgraded another two lexicon pages to Curator Approved status today. Have no idea what Oxazolinium ions and Oxocarbenium ions are, or why they're important in glycosidases? Check out these new pages!


20 Nov 2012: A growing lexicon, II: Spencer Williams has upgraded the Glycosyltransferases lexicon page to Curator Approved status today. This class of enzymes catalyzes the biosynthesis of the tremendous natural diversity of glycosides from activated sugar donor substrates and, as such, this page forms an essential part of CAZypedia's lexicon of terms and concepts. Thanks Spencer, for continuing to develop this resource!


16 Nov 2012: N-glycan deconstruction: There's been a flurry of activity on CAZypedia this past week; today, Al Boraston completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 125 page. GH125 was established last year based on a collaborative study between the Boraston and Vocadlo groups, which demonstrated that certain members from human bacterial pathogens can cleave alpha(1-6) mannosyl linkages typical of human N-glycans. Notably, GH125 members are also found in human gut symbiotic bacteria and pathogenic fungi, which underscores their potential biological importance in N-glycan deconstruction. Check out the GH125 page to read more about this new family, including a link to David and Al's seminal publication.


15 Nov 2012: A growing lexicon: Back in January of 2010, Wim Nerinckx compiled a monumental table on the orientation of the catalytic acid/base residue in over 70 GH families. Wim has now elaborated this page with an essential introduction to the important concept of Syn/anti lateral protonation in glycosidase catalysis, which was outlined in a seminal paper by Tom Heightman and Andrea Vasella in 1999. Now updated to Curator Approved from Under Construction status, this page forms a key part of CAZypedia's lexicon of terms and concepts.


12 Nov 2012: Three new GH families: Thanks to our colleagues in Japan, three pages on recently established glycoside hydrolase families have been completed and given Curator Approved status in CAZypedia today. The GH121 and GH127 family pages by Kiyotaka Fujita describe Bifidobacterium longum enzymes involved in plant hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein (HRGP) deconstruction. The GH129 page by Hisashi Ashida describes another family of Bifidobacterial enzymes, which in this case, appear to be involved in mucin glycoprotein degradation. Special thanks go to Responsible Curator Shinya Fushinobu for organizing the production of these important new pages!


25 Oct 2012: A new GH family is born: Jean-Guy Berrin and his team at INRA in Marseille have recently unveiled a new glycoside hydrolase family, Glycoside Hydrolase Family 131, through elegant biochemical studies on a bi-modular β-glucanase from the fungus Podospora anserina. We are pleased to report that Jean-Guy has completed and given Curator Approved status to this fledgling CAZypedia page today, on which you can learn more about the INRA team's seminal work.


05 Sep 2012: Transglucosylases: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 70 page by Magali Remaud-Simeon has been copy-edited by Responsible Curator Stefan Janecek and given Curator Approved status today. GH70 comprises a family of enzymes with the notable ability to build high molecular weight α-glucan polysaccharides from sucrose as a glucosyl donor substrate. Depending the particular enzyme, α-1,2-; α-1,3-; α-1,4-; and/or α-1,6-linked glucans can be produced, which have applications in food, pharmaceutical, and fine chemical industries. In addition, biofilms of α-1,3-glucans produced by the GH70 enzymes of oral bacteria are also implicated in the formation of dental caries (cavities). Learn more about this interesting family of CAZymes here!


21 Jun 2012: A new home! CAZypedia has physically moved a few thousand kilometers around the globe, and is now been served to you from the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In conjunction with the move, we are extremely happy to report that Karen Eddy, a summer project student at the MSL, has re-coded the buggy Biblio extension, so that now ALL literature references from PubMed are properly inserted into CAZypedia pages. Please do let us know if you experience any problems with CAZypedia following the move.


30 Apr 2012: A new cellulase fold: On April 27, Harry Gilbert completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 124 page here on CAZypedia. GH124 is a comparatively new, but tiny, family in the CAZy classification. This family is currently comprised of only three members (2 near-identical sequences from 2 Clostridium spp. and 1 from Ruminococcus albus), but was defined as a GH family based on the demonstration of cellulase activity in one of the Clostridial members. Remarkably, this enzyme was also shown to have a α8 superhelical fold, which has not been previously observed in cellulases, but is rather found in diverse lysozymes and lytic transglycosylases of GH23 active on bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan.


09 Mar 2012: β-glucuronidases!: Hot on the heels of their recent seminal structural and biochemical characterization of a Glycoside Hydrolase Family 79 β-glucuronidase, Hitomi Ichinose and Satoshi Kaneko have just completed the GH79 page in CAZypedia. GH79 is currently a rather small family comprised of enzymes from bacteria, fungi, plants, and mammals, which remove glucuronic acid (GlcA) or 4-O-methyl glucuronic acid from a diversity of substrates, ranging from secondary metabolites to structural biomolecules such as proteoglycans and arabinogalactan proteins. Click here to learn more about this interesting family!


11 Jan 2012: New for the new year: CAZypedia is proud to report that our first new page of 2012, the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 99 page, has been completed by Spencer Williams and given Curator Approved status today. This page follows the recent publication of seminal structural and mechanistic analyses by a multi-investigator team including CAZypedia Curators Spencer Williams and Gideon Davies, which suggests that endo-mannosidases of this family may use an unusual mechanism involving a 1,2-anhydro-β-mannopyranose ("sugar epoxide") intermediate to effect the release of Glc1–3-1,3-α-Man oligosaccharides during N-glycan trimming. GH99 is a small, but nonetheless important family, whose members come from both higher eukaryotes, which employ these enzymes in protein-folding quality-control, and bacteria, which are likely to use their homologues for carbohydrate scavenging in niche enviroments such as the human gut.


Also in the news: Spencer altered us to the fact that CAZypedia has clocked one million page views sometime recently. We're not quite sure what to make of that, but it seems like a pretty neat achievement. What is really interesting is that we are starting to see some dynamics in which pages are accessed most: Newer pages, such as GH18 (completed Oct. 2010), are becoming more popular than the very first CAZypedia page, GH1 (completed May 2007). And, some of the Lexicon pages, including those on the Cellulosome and anomeric configuration are right up there in the list. If you like to keep score, here's a list of our most popular pages. Want to find out when a particular CAZypedia page was Curator Approved? Click here.


18 July 2011: Our second GH-I chitosanase page: Ryszard Brzezinski has recently completed and Curator Approved his second page on chitosanases, enzymes which act specifically on the de-acetylated form of chitin (the polysaccharide chitin is a widespread in Nature as a main component of insect bodies and crustacean shells). Glycoside Hydrolase Family 80, a member of Clan GH-I together with GH24 and GH46, is a remarkably small family, which has thus far received only limited experimental attention. We therefore look forward to the expansion of this page with structural and mechanistic data in the future. Coincidentally, the GH80 page is our 80th Curator Approved Glycoside Hydrolase Family page in CAZypedia!


20 June 2011: More phosphorylases: On May 29, Author and Responsible Curator Hiroyuki Nakai completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 65 page. GH65 is comprised of alpha-glycoside phosphorylases and alpha,alpha-trehalose hydrolases. Due to the readily reversible nature of phosphorolysis, GH65 enzymes have been harnessed for glycoside synthesis, including recent work by Dr. Nakai. The completion of the GH65 complements previously completed pages on the beta-glycoside phosphorylases of GH94 and GH112 in CAZypedia.


12 May 2011: A new page on a new-ish family: Author and Responsible Curator Satoshi Kaneko completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 115 page today. GH115 contains microbial alpha-glucuronidases, which are involved the cleavage of D-glucuronic acid and 4-O-methyl-D-glucuronic acid sidechains from xylans. Remarkably, GH115 enzymes can release these monosaccharides from intact polymer chains, which is rather rare for exo-acting enzymes, and contrasts them with glucuronidases from GH67. Although this regiospecific activity has been known since the last millenium, it was only in 2009 that these particular enzymes nucleated their own GH family.


09 May 2011: It's a big news day here at CAZypedia. We are proud to announce that three distinct glycoside hydrolase family pages have been Curator Approved today:

We would like to express our sincere thanks to our Japanese and French colleagues for these important contributions to CAZypedia. Links to these families will be included in the next public update of the CAZy database (expected soon!).

Special thanks also go to Etienne for updating the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 82 page, including a very cool animated image that highlights enzyme domain movement during substrate binding - CAZypedia really is a living resource that can be continually improved with the latest knowledge.


28 April 2011: More on α-glucoside cleavage: Author and Responsible Curator Takashi Tonozuka recently completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 63 page, which has been updated to Curator Approved status today. GH63 is especially notable as it contains the eukaryotic "processing α-glucosidase I enzymes," which are essential for N-glycan trimming during glycoprotein maturation. Takashi Tonozuka's group has done seminal structural elucidation work in this family, and we very much appreciate his contribution to CAZypedia, especially during these tough times in Japan.


21 March 2011: A new page on the equinox (as we thaw-out and welcome the sun back to the Baltic region): Responsible Curator Anna Kulminskaya today approved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 35 page, which was written by Anna, with input on the 3-D structure section from Mirko Maksimainen and Juha Rouvinen. GH35 is a family of β-galactosidases from diverse organisms that display a range of bond specificities. Only very few tertiary structures have been solved in this family, to which the Russian and Finnish groups have made seminal contributions.


28 February 2011: Hexosaminidases!: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 20 and Glycoside Hydrolase Family 84 pages, which were completed last week by Author Ian Greig and approved by Responsible Curator David Vocadlo, have today been cross-linked from the CAZy database (look out for the next public release). GH20 is of significant medical relevance, as it contains the human enzymes HexA and HexB, deficiencies of which case Tay-Sachs disease and Sandhoff diseases, respectively. GH84 is similarly important in the context of cell and organism biology, as this family contains human OGA (HexC, MGEA5, O-GlcNAcase), a nuclear and cytoplasmic enzyme that is responsible for dynamic modulation of β-linked O-GlcNAc residues linked to serine and threonine residues. O-GlcNAc'ylation of specific protein residues has in some cases been found to be reciprocal to phosphorylation and, accordingly, has implicated O-GlcNAc in diverse cellular processes and disease states.


07 February 2011: A landmark CAZypedia page: This one has been a long time coming, but today Birte Svensson and Stefan Janecek completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 13 page. GH13 is, quite simply, THE family of α-glucoside-degrading and -rearranging enzymes, with over 10000 members distributed into more than 35 subfamilies, which represent tens of enzyme activities. Due to the central role starch (amylose/amylopectin) and glycogen play in energy storage, these enzymes are of immense ecological and biotechnological importance. GH13 is also our 70th Curator Approved GH Family page!!!


17 January 2011: Our first news for the new year: Peter Reilly has just completed and approved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 44 page. GH44 is another classic cellulase family (formerly known as cellulase family J); a number of these endo-beta(1-4)-glucanases have a penchant for degrading xyloglucan as well as soluble synthetic cellulose derivatives.


29 October 2010: News from sunny Provence: Florence Vincent has completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 73 page, which has just been edited and approved by Senior Curator Bernard Henrissat. GH73 contains peptidoglycan hydrolases with endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG, a.k.a. GlcNAc) specificity. Mechanistic and structural parallels between this family and other hexosaminidase families have been drawn, including GH18, whose CAZypedia page was very recently finished (see the preceding News item from Oct. 13).


13 October 2010: Gideon Davies has just completed and approved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 18 chitinase/endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase page, with help from Nathalie Juge on the non-catalytic proteins in the family, which function as carbohydrate-binding proteins or enzyme inhibitors. Look out for links to this and several of the pages mentioned in previous News items in the latest version of the CAZy database, to be released today!


08 October 2010: Trehalases!: CAZypedia Author Tracey Gloster completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 37 page today, which was summarily approved by Responsible Curator Gideon Davies. GH37 is a trehalase-specific family; trehalases are also currently found in GH15 and GH65.


06 October 2010: A hat-trick: Glycoside Hydrolase Family 5 makes three Curator Approved family pages by Gideon Davies in one day. GH5 is a large, poly-specific family, which makes covering the entire scope of this family challenging. CAZypedia is an evolving resource, so readers are welcome to suggest further improvements.


06 October 2010: More cellulases - the second family from Gideon in one day: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 45 page has been completed and approved by Senior Curator Gideon Davies. GH45 contains endo-β(1-4)glucanases (endo-cellulases), and a significant structural similarity to plant expansins has been observed.


06 October 2010: Yet another classic cellulase family: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 6 page by Kathleen Piens and Gideon Davies has just been upgraded to Curator Approved status. GH6 contains cellobiohydrolase II (CBHII, or Cel6A in the modern nomenclature), which is a main component of the enzyme cocktail secreted by the proficient cellulose-degrading organism, Hypocrea jecorica (née Trichoderma reesei).


24 August 2010: Another classic cellulase family: David Wilson and Breeanna Urbanowicz have teamed-up to produce the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 9 page, which has been upgraded to Curator Approved status today. GH9 is a family of inverting endo-beta(1-4)glucanases with a long history, including important structure/function work from David's lab. Bree has written a special addendum on the structure, function, and phylogeny of the plant endoglucanases, which have been implicated in cell wall biosynthesis.


11 August 2010: A new look. Today we upgraded the MediaWiki software that runs CAZypedia and switched the default interface to the shiny new Vector skin, which you may have already noticed on Wikipedia. Let us know if you find any problems with the new layout here. (If preferred, CAZypedians can actually still use the old default skin, Monobook, by logging in and changing their user preferences.)


10 August 2010: A bit of extra polishing: Curator and Author Harry Gilbert has now touched-up and further improved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 43 α-L-arabinofuranosidase/β-D-xylosidase page, which was Curator Approved back in November 2009.


22 July 2010: Number 60! Today CAZypedia chalks-up its 60th Curator Approved Glycoside Hydrolase Family family page, GH116 by Author Beatrice Cobucci-Ponzano and Responsible Curator Marco Moracci. GH116 is a brand-new beta-glycosidase family, which was created after a seminal publication by the Neapolitan group in The Journal of Biological Chemistry very recently (in print July 2...check the GH116 page for more details!).


8 July 2010: CAZypedia breaks new ground: CAZypedia has made its first foray into the world of glycosyltransferases with the GT42 page by Warren Wakarchuk. The Glycosyltransferase Families are still very much in a beta test stage, and we welcome input and ideas on the format of these pages.


30 June 2010: Mirjam does it again: Responsible Curator Mirjam Czjzek has just finished-off the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 50 beta-agarase page. GH50 is a family in Clan GH-A, so although not much has been experimentally determined in this family (thus making it a rather small page), a lot can be inferred. Mirjam is in charge of 4 GH pages right now, and GH50 is the third she and her co-authors have completed to-date. Thanks Mirjam!


29 June 2010: A classic cellulase family: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 7 page by Jerry Ståhlberg, which has been essentially complete for some time now, has recently been upgraded Curator Approved status; a link from the CAZy DB will soon follow. Notably, GH7 contains classic cellobiohydrolases and endo-glucanases, which are the focus of much attention these days for the saccharification of cellulose for biofuels.


21 June 2010: Complexes for degrading a complex substrate: We are happy to report (from the home of the Swedish biorefining, no less) that Bareket Dassa, Orly Alber, and Ed Bayer have just finished the Cellulosome page in the Lexicon. Ed pioneered Cellulosome research, so this overview and historical summary is a really significant contribution to CAZypedia.


27 May 2010: A new lysozyme page: The GH25 page by Ed Taylor has recently been Curator Approved by Gideon Davies and is now linked from the CAZy database.


25 May 2010:
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We have finally fixed the problem with non-English characters in references from PubMed that was breaking some pages! We apologize for the delay and any inconvenience this may have caused.

18 May 2010: New from 日本: Curator Takashi Tonozuka has just completed and approved his page on the dextranase/pullulanase family GH49. Thanks go to Takashi for finishing the page despite our our ongoing troubles with PubMed references!


10 May 2010: Curator Yuval Shoham has just completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 51 page. GH51 is primarily an α-L-arabinofuranosidase family, whose members - like some GH43 enzymes - are involved in trimming the sidechains from plant xylans. These enzymes are therefore of potential interest in biomass processing.


27 April 2010: More from Marseille: Senior Curator Bernard Henrissat has edited and Curator Approved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 17 page written by Geoff Fincher. GH17 contains a variety of endo-acting beta-1,3-glucanases and mixed-linkage glucanases. Notably, nearly all of the enzymologically characterized members to-date are from plants. Expect a link from the CAZy DB soon...


16 April 2010: This just in via our news desk in Marseille: Vincent Eijsink has just finished and given Curator Approved status to our first chitinase page, Glycoside Hydrolase Family 19, following on the heels of the GH46 chitosanase page completed in February. Vincent has included some very nice structure figures on the GH19 page, which add a nice splash of color and clarity.


7 March 2010: We are proud to announce that all four pages Curated by Anthony Clarke on peptidoglycan-degrading families have been Curator Approved and further improved over the past couple of weeks. So, in addition to GH23, which made the news on Feb. 18, CAZypedia now contains completed pages on GH102, GH103 and GH104!


19 February 2010: It's been a busy week here at CAZypedia: Tirso Pons and Wim Van den Ende just finished the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 68 page, which makes four new Curator Approved pages in four consecutive days!


18 February 2010: O Canada! Anthony Clarke of the University of Guelph approved the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 23 page today, which is the first of four pages that he's agreed to curate on peptidoglycan-degrading enzymes. Look out for more from Anthony on CAZypedia in the near future...


17 February 2010: The page on the tiny iota-carrageenase family Glycoside Hydrolase Family 82 (containing only 2 members!) has been given Curator Approved status by Gurvan Michel and Mirjam Czjzek from Roscoff, Bretagne.


16 February 2010: Dr. Bareket Dassa and Prof. Ed Bayer have just finished and given the Curator Approved stamp to the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 48 page. For the old-timers out there, GH48 used to be called "Cellulase Family L".


10 February 2010: In our 2nd news flash of the day, Ryszard Brzezinski has completed work on the chitosanase family page, Glycoside Hydrolase Family 46. This new entry brings the total number of Curator Approved Glycoside Hydrolase Family pages to 44!


10 February 2010: Leila Lo Leggio has completed and given Curator Approved status to the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 53 page today. GH53 enzymes are involved in plant biomass conversion through the degradation of beta-1,4-galactan, and Leila has been involved in a number of key structural studies of these enzymes.


22 January 2010: David Rose has just updated the references on the GH38 page with some recently published work on the role of cations in the active site, which gives us a good excuse to showcase this page (finished back in August 2009) here in the Latest News section. GH38 contains the Class II Golgi and lysosomal α-mannosidases involved in N-glycan processing on which David has done a lot of pioneering structural work. Thanks David!

19 January 2010: Glycoside Hydrolase Family 58, which contains the E. coli bacteriophage tailspike endo-sialidases, has now been given Curator Approved status by author and curator Warren Wakarchuk. This is the second page by Warren, who did GH101 back in the autumn of 2009.


16 January 2010: Gerlind Sulzenbacher has completed a CAZypedia page on the α-L-fucosidase family GH29, which has just been approved by Responsible Curator Steve Withers. GH29 is particularly notable as it contains human α-fucosidase A1 (FucA1), defects in which give rise to the lysosomal storage disease fucosidosis.


15 January 2010: The Glycoside Hydrolase Family 57 has now been finished and given "Curator Approved" status by Stefan Janecek. This is CAZypedia's second page on starch-active enzymes, following Pedro Coutinho's GH15 contribution (see News, Nov. 6, 2009).


12 January 2010: Wim Nerinckx has just completed the herculean task of compiling an updated table on the orientation of the catalytic acid/base residue (syn vs. anti protonation) in all GH families, where known. Look out for a full lexicon entry by Wim and Spencer Williams soon!


11 January 2010: CAZypedia proudly announces our second page of the new year: Mirjam Czjzek (Station Biologique de Roscoff, France) and Wim Van den Ende (KULeuven, Belgium) have just completed the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 32 page!


04 January 2010: CAZypedia proudly announces our first page of the new year: Glycoside Hydrolase Family 92 by Prof. Harry Gilbert, which is based on work very recently published in Nature Chemical Biology.


06 November 2009: The glucoamylase family GH15 now has a completed draft in place, courtesy of Pedro Coutinho (yep, that Pedro...). Expect a link from CAZy DB soon!


03 November 2009: Thanks to Marco Moracci, the GH42 page is now ready!


28 October 2009: Continuing the flurry of recent activity, curator Al Boraston has approved the GH85 and GH98 pages written by Wade Abbott and Fathima Aidha Shaikh, respectively. GH55, GH67, GH85, and GH98 are all now cross-linked with the Oct. 28 version of the CAZy database, thanks to Bernie.


27 October 2009: The GH55 page is now in place, written by Takuya Ishida and Kiyohiko Igarashi, and curated by Shinya Fushinobu.


26 October 2009: Harry Gilbert has just finished the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 67 page!


15 October 2009: 24 Glycoside Hydrolase Families have now been completed in CAZypedia and are linked from their respective pages in latest release of the CAZy Database.


5 October 2009: Tracey Gloster (author) and Gideon Davies (curator) have finished work on the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 97 page, which is now ready for public viewing.

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