A multiplexed nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry

Lignocellulosic biomass is composed of three major biopolymers: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Analytical tools capable of quickly detecting both glycan and lignin deconstruction are needed to support the development and characterization of efficient enzymes/enzyme cocktails. Previously we have described nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry-based assays for the analysis of glycosyl hydrolase and most recently an assay for lignin modifying enzymes. Here we integrate these two assays into a single multiplexed assay against both classes of enzymes and use it to characterize crude commercial enzyme mixtures. Application of our multiplexed platform based on nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry enabled us to characterize crude mixtures of laccase enzymes from fungi Agaricus bisporus (Ab) and Myceliopthora thermophila (Mt) revealing activity on both carbohydrate and aromatic substrates.

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Fig: Concept of a NIMS multiplexed glycoside hydrolase and lignin modifying enzyme assay.

Using time-series analysis we determined that crude laccase from Ab has the higher GH activity and that laccase from Mt has the higher activity against our lignin model compound. Inhibitor studies showed a significant reduction in Mt GH activity under low oxygen conditions and increased activities in the presence of vanillin (common GH inhibitor). Ultimately, this assay can help to discover mixtures of enzymes that could be incorporated into biomass pretreatments to deconstruct diverse components of lignocellulosic biomass.

Ing, N., Deng, K., Chen, Y. et al. A multiplexed nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry (NIMS) assay for simultaneously detecting glycosyl hydrolase and lignin modifying enzyme activities. Sci Rep 11,11803 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91181-8

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