The regioselective α-glucosylation of hesperetin was achieved by a transglycosylation reaction catalyzed by cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase) from Thermoanaerobacter sp. using soluble starch as glucosyl donor. By combining mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF) and 2D-NMR analysis, the main monoglucosylated derivative was fully characterized (hesperetin 7-O-α-d-glucopyranoside). In order to increase the yield of monoglucoside, several reaction parameters were optimized: Nature and percentage of cosolvent, composition of the aqueous phase, glucosyl donor, temperature, and the concentrations of hesperetin and soluble starch. Under the optimal conditions, which included the presence of 30% of bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether as cosolvent, the maximum concentration of monoglucoside was approximately 2 mM, obtained after 24 h of reaction. To our knowledge, this is the first report of direct glucosylation of hesperetin employing free enzymes instead of whole cells.
Keywords: cyclodextrin glucosyltransferase; enzymatic glucosylation; flavanones; flavonoids; glycosylation; hesperetin; hesperidin; polyphenols.