Polysaccharide monooxygenases, or PMOs (also known as lytic PMOs or LPMOs), are a group of enzymes discovered in recent years to catalyze the oxidative degradation of carbohydrate polymers. The PMO catalytic domain has a β-sandwich fold that bears a strong resemblance to both immunoglobulin (Ig) and fibronectin type III (FnIII) domains. PMOs are secreted by fungi and bacteria, and there is recent evidence for their roles in pathogenesis, in addition to biomass processing. This review addresses the biological origins and functions of emerging PMO families, as well as describes the aspects of PMO structure that support the chemistry of copper-catalyzed, oxidative polysaccharide degradation.
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