Beta-glucosidase catalyzes the hydrolysis of the glycosidic bonds to terminal non-reducing residues in beta-D-glucosides and oligosaccharides, with release of glucose.
Synonyms, derivatives, and related enzymes include gentiobiase, cellobiase, emulsin,elaterase, aryl-beta-glucosidase, beta-D-glucosidase, beta-glucoside glucohydrolase, arbutinase, amygdalinase, p-nitrophenyl beta-glucosidase, primeverosidase, amygdalase, linamarase, salicilinase, and beta-1,6-glucosidase.
Cellulose is a polymer composed of beta-1,4-linked glucosyl residues. Cellulases (endoglucanases), cellobiosidases (exoglucanases), and beta-glucosidases are required by organisms (some fungi, bacteria) that can consume it. These enzymes are powerful tools for degradation of plant cell walls by pathogens and other organisms consuming plant biomass.