Feruloyl esterase: a key enzyme in biomass degradation

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2006 May;133(2):87-112. doi: 10.1385/abab:133:2:87.


Feruloyl esterase forms a part of the enzyme complex that acts collectively and synergistically to completely hydrolyze xylan to its monomers. The enzyme has found potential uses in a wide variety of applications of interest to the agrifood and pharmaceutical industries. This review describes the enzymology of feruloyl esterases involved in xylan degradation. The occurrence of feruloyl esterases in various microorganisms and their physiochemical properties are presented. The nature of the enzyme substrates and products, the role of synergistic interactions with xylanases and other accessory enzymes, as well as the sequence-structure relating to the reaction mechanism are emphasized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomass*
  • Bioreactors / microbiology*
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / chemistry*
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / classification
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • feruloyl esterase