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Enzyme Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 308730, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/308730
Review Article

Cellulases from Thermophilic Fungi: Recent Insights and Biotechnological Potential

1Department of Environmental Biology, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong 271018, China
2Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, 20521 Turku, Finland

Received 6 June 2011; Revised 5 September 2011; Accepted 7 September 2011

Academic Editor: D. M. G. Freire

Copyright © 2011 Duo-Chuan Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Thermophilic fungal cellulases are promising enzymes in protein engineering efforts aimed at optimizing industrial processes, such as biomass degradation and biofuel production. The cloning and expression in recent years of new cellulase genes from thermophilic fungi have led to a better understanding of cellulose degradation in these species. Moreover, crystal structures of thermophilic fungal cellulases are now available, providing insights into their function and stability. The present paper is focused on recent progress in cloning, expression, regulation, and structure of thermophilic fungal cellulases and the current research efforts to improve their properties for better use in biotechnological applications.