Glycosyltransferase structural biology and its role in the design of catalysts for glycosylation

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011 Dec;22(6):800-8. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.04.013. Epub 2011 May 16.


Glycosyltransferases (GTs) are ubiquitous in nature and are required for the transfer of sugars to a variety of important biomolecules. This essential enzyme family has been a focus of attention from both the perspective of a potential drug target and a catalyst for the development of vaccines, biopharmaceuticals and small molecule therapeutics. This review attempts to consolidate the emerging lessons from Leloir (nucleotide-dependent) GT structural biology studies and recent applications of these fundamentals toward rational engineering of glycosylation catalysts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology*
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Glycosylation
  • Glycosyltransferases / chemistry*
  • Glycosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Nucleotides / chemistry
  • Protein Engineering
  • Protein Folding


  • Carbohydrates
  • Nucleotides
  • Glycosyltransferases