Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 209-216

First online:

Towards tailor-made oligosaccharides—chemo-enzymatic approaches by enzyme and substrate engineering

  • Arne HomannAffiliated withInstitute of Organic Chemistry, University of Würzburg
  • , Jürgen SeibelAffiliated withInstitute of Organic Chemistry, University of Würzburg Email author 

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Carbohydrate structures have been identified in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells as glycoconjugates with communication skills. Their recently discussed role in various diseases has attracted high attention in the development of simple and convenient methods for oligosaccharide synthesis. In this review, recent approaches combining nature’s power for the design of tailor made biocatalysts by enzyme engineering and substrate engineering will be presented. These strategies lead to highly efficient and selective glycosylation reactions. The introduced concept shall be a first step in the direction to a glycosylation toolbox which paves the way for the tailor-made synthesis of designed carbohydrate structures.


Tailor-made oligosaccharides Enzyme engineering Substrate engineering Glucosyltransferase Fructosyltransferase