Structure/function relationship of homopolysaccharide producing glycansucrases and therapeutic potential of their synthesised glycans

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Aug;71(6):790-803. doi: 10.1007/s00253-006-0469-4. Epub 2006 May 25.


The capability of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to produce exopoly- and oligosaccharides was and is the subject of expanding research efforts. Due to their physicochemical properties and health-promoting potential, exopoly- and oligosaccharides from food-grade LAB can be used in the food and other industries and may have additional medical applications. In the last years, many LAB have been screened for their ability to produce exopoly- and oligosaccharides, and several glycosyltransferases involved in their biosynthesis have been characterised at biochemical and genetic levels. These research efforts aim to exploit the full potential of these organisms and to understand the structure/function relationship of glycosyltransferases. The latter knowledge is a prerequisite for the production of tailored exopoly- and oligosaccharides for the diverse applications. This review will survey the results of recent works on the structure/function relationship of homopolysaccharide producing glycosyltransferases and the therapeutic potential of their synthesised exopoly- and oligosaccharides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Glucosyltransferases / chemistry
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Glycosyltransferases / chemistry
  • Glycosyltransferases / genetics
  • Glycosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Lactobacillus / enzymology
  • Lactobacillus / genetics
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / metabolism*


  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Glycosyltransferases
  • Glucosyltransferases