Cellulose-binding Domains: Biotechnological Applications

Biotechnol Adv. 2002 Nov;20(3-4):191-213. doi: 10.1016/s0734-9750(02)00006-x.


Many researchers have acknowledged the fact that there exists an immense potential for the application of the cellulose-binding domains (CBDs) in the field of biotechnology. This becomes apparent when the phrase "cellulose-binding domain" is used as the key word for a computerized patent search; more then 150 hits are retrieved. Cellulose is an ideal matrix for large-scale affinity purification procedures. This chemically inert matrix has excellent physical properties as well as low affinity for nonspecific protein binding. It is available in a diverse range of forms and sizes, is pharmaceutically safe, and relatively inexpensive. Present studies into the application of CBDs in industry have established that they can be applied in the modification of physical and chemical properties of composite materials and the development of modified materials with improved properties. In agro-biotechnology, CBDs can be used to modify polysaccharide materials both in vivo and in vitro. The CBDs exert nonhydrolytic fiber disruption on cellulose-containing materials. The potential applications of "CBD technology" range from modulating the architecture of individual cells to the modification of an entire organism. Expressing these genes under specific promoters and using appropriate trafficking signals, can be used to alter the nutritional value and texture of agricultural crops and their final products.