Bacillus subtilis 168 levansucrase (SacB) activity affects average levan molecular weight

Carbohydr Polym. 2015 Nov 5;132:338-44. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.06.056. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Levan is a fructan polymer that offers a variety of applications in the chemical, health, cosmetic and food industries. Most of the levan applications depend on levan molecular weight, which in turn depends on the source of the synthesizing enzyme and/or on reaction conditions. Here we demonstrate that in the particular case of levansucrase from Bacillus subtilis 168, enzyme concentration is also a factor defining the molecular weight levan distribution. While a bimodal distribution has been reported at the usual enzyme concentrations (1 U/ml equivalent to 0.1 μM levansucrase) we found that a low molecular weight normal distribution is solely obtained al high enzyme concentrations (>5 U/ml equivalent to 0.5 μM levansucrase) while a high normal molecular weight distribution is synthesized at low enzyme doses (0.1 U/ml equivalent to 0.01 μM of levansucrase).

Keywords: Fructan; Fructosyltransferase; Levan; Levansucrase; SacB; Transferase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / chemistry
  • Bacillus subtilis / enzymology*
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Fructans / chemistry*
  • Fructans / metabolism*
  • Hexosyltransferases / analysis
  • Hexosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Weight
  • Sucrose / metabolism
  • Temperature


  • Fructans
  • Sucrose
  • levan
  • Hexosyltransferases
  • levansucrase