Cellulases and related β-1,4-glucanases are essential components of lignocellulose-degrading enzyme mixtures. The detection of β-1,4-glucanase activity typically relies on monitoring the breakdown of purified lignocellulose-derived substrates or synthetic chromogenic substrates, limiting the activities which can be detected and complicating the tracing of activity back to specific components within complex enzyme mixtures. As a tool for the rapid detection and identification of β-1,4-glucanases, a series of glycosylated cyclophellitol inhibitors mimicking β-1,4-glucan oligosaccharides have been synthesised. These compounds are highly efficient inhibitors of HiCel7B, a well-known GH7 endo -β-1,4-glucanase. An elaborated activity-based probe facilitated the direct detection and identification of β-1,4-glucanases within a complex fungal secretome without any detectable cross-reactivity with β- d -glucosidases. These probes and inhibitors add valuable new capacity to the growing toolbox of cyclophellitol-derived probes for the activity-based profiling of biomass-degrading enzymes.
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020