Endo-1, 4-β-xylanase (Endo-β-1, 4-xylan, xylanohydrolase; EC. 3.2.1.8, commonly called xylanase) is an industrially important enzyme which degrades xylan randomly and produces xylooligosaccharides, xylobiose and xylose. It is mainly present in microbes and plants but not in animals. Xylanases from fungal and bacterial sources have been extensively studied and produced commercially. Its potential use in paper industries has been discussed which is directly related to reduction in environmental pollution. It has role in bio-bleaching paper pulp and increasing pulp brightness. Besides, it can be exploited for ethanol production and as an additive in animal feedstock to improve its nutritional value. Endo-1, 4-β-xylanase can also be exploited in baking and fruit juice industries. Here, we reviewed its distribution, structural aspects and industrial/ biotechnological applications. Besides, we also discussed studies related to cloning of the gene encoding endo-1, 4-β-xylanase with the objectives of overproducing the enzyme and altering its properties to suit commercial applications.

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