Acetylesterase CE16 was identified as a part of the enzymatic cocktail secreted by fungus Hypocrea jecorina (anamorph: Trichoderma reesei) during its growth on cellulose. Later it was classified as the first member of a newly organized carbohydrate esterase family CE16. Further studies showed that acetylesterase is crucial for complete deacetylation of naturally acetylated xylans enabling their saccharification by xylanases. To study the relationship between structure and function of acetylesterase, highly purified recombinant enzyme produced by Trichoderma reesei Rut C-30 was prepared. The enzyme was composed of 348 amino acid residues from which the 1 - 19 formed a secretion signal peptide. Determined molecular mass of purified recombinant acetylesterase (Aes1) was 45 kDa which was more than molecular mass calculated from amino acid sequence. As it has been proved later, the difference was caused by the enzyme glycosylation. Glycosylation of proteins increases their stability, but it can also be a source of heterogeneity, which might be a problem during crystallization. To make the future X-ray study of the enzyme easier, recombinant non-glycosylated enzyme needed to be prepared. For these purposes, a synthetic gene optimized for protein expression in Escherichia coli was designed and synthetized. The first nonglycosylated acetylesterase obtained by the expression of its synthetic gene in E. coli cells was mostly insoluble or aggregated. Conditions of cell cultivation, induction of gene expression and cells disruption were necessary to optimize. Presently, after optimization of all mentioned steps, the non-glycosylated recombinant CE16 acetylesterase was prepared in the soluble and active form, ready for further downstream procedures, involving protein purification and crystallization.
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