Glucansucrases: Three-dimensional structures, reactions, mechanism, alpha-glucan analysis and their implications in biotechnology and food applications

Leemhuis, H., Pijning, T., Dobruchowska, J. M., van Leeuwen, S. S., Kralj, S., Dijkstra, B. W. & Dijkhuizen, L., 20-Jan-2013, In : Journal of Biotechnology. 163, 2, p. 250-272 23 p.

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Glucansucrases are extracellular enzymes that synthesize a wide variety of alpha-glucan polymers and oligosaccharides, such as dextran. These carbohydrates have found numerous applications in food and health industries, and can be used as pure compounds or even be produced in situ by generally regarded as safe (GRAS) lactic acid bacteria in food applications. Research in the recent years has resulted in big steps forward in the understanding and exploitation of the biocatalytic potential of glucansucrases. This paper provides an overview of glucansucrase enzymes, their recently elucidated crystal structures, their reaction and product specificity, and the structural analysis and applications of alpha-glucan polymers. Furthermore, we discuss key developments in the understanding of alpha-glucan polymer formation based on the recently elucidated three-dimensional structures of glucansucrase proteins. Finally we discuss the (potential) applications of alpha-glucans produced by lactic acid bacteria in food and health related industries. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-272
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20-Jan-2013


  • 4,6-alpha-Glucanotransferase, Alternan, Alternansucrase, Dextran, Dextransucrase, Enzyme evolution, Mutansucrase, Reuteransucrase, Extracellular polysaccharide, Glucansucrase, Lactic acid bacteria, Mutan, Prebiotic, Protein engineering, Reuteran, Starch, MESENTEROIDES NRRL B-512F, LACTIC-ACID BACTERIA, STREPTOCOCCUS-MUTANS GLUCOSYLTRANSFERASES, LACTOBACILLUS-REUTERI 121, FIELD-FLOW FRACTIONATION, HUMAN GUT BACTERIA, ALTERNANSUCRASE ACCEPTOR REACTIONS, SIZE-EXCLUSION CHROMATOGRAPHY, LASER-LIGHT SCATTERING, IN-VITRO FERMENTATION

ID: 5767077