Sucrose synthase (SuSy, EC 184.108.40.206) is a glycosyltransferase (GT) long known from plants and more recently discovered in bacteria. The enzyme catalyzes the reversible transfer of a glucosyl moiety between fructose and a nucleoside diphosphate (NDP) (sucrose + NDP ↔ NDP-glucose + fructose). The equilibrium for sucrose conversion is pH dependent, and pH values between 5.5 and 7.5 promote NDP-glucose formation. The conversion of a bulk chemical to high-priced NDP-glucose in a one-step reaction provides the key aspect for industrial interest. NDP-sugars are important as such and as key intermediates for glycosylation reactions by highly selective Leloir GTs. SuSy has gained renewed interest as industrially attractive biocatalyst, due to substantial scientific progresses achieved in the last few years. These include biochemical characterization of bacterial SuSys, overproduction of recombinant SuSys, structural information useful for design of tailor-made catalysts, and development of one-pot SuSy-GT cascade reactions for production of several relevant glycosides. These advances could pave the way for the application of Leloir GTs to be used in cost-effective processes. This review provides a framework for application requirements, focusing on catalytic properties, heterologous enzyme production and reaction engineering. The potential of SuSy biocatalysis will be presented based on various biotechnological applications: NDP-sugar synthesis; sucrose analog synthesis; glycoside synthesis by SuSy-GT cascade reactions.
Fields of Expertise
- Human- & Biotechnology
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