Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering

, 16:843

Alginate lyase: Structure, property, and application


  • Hee Sook Kim
    • Department of Food Science and BiotechnologyKyungsung University
  • Choul-Gyun Lee
    • Department of BiotechnologyInha University
    • Department of Chemical EngineeringKyung Hee University
Invited Review

DOI: 10.1007/s12257-011-0352-8

Cite this article as:
Kim, H.S., Lee, C. & Lee, E.Y. Biotechnol Bioproc E (2011) 16: 843. doi:10.1007/s12257-011-0352-8


Alginate is a linear polysaccharide in which β-D-mannuronate (M) and its epimer, α-L-guluronate (G), are covalently (1–4)-linked in different sequences. Alginate is mainly used as a food additive to modify food texture due to its high viscosity and gelling property. Alginate lyase can degrade alginate by cleaving the glycosidic bond through a β-elimination reaction, generating oligomer with 4-deoxy-L-erythro-hex-4-enepyranosyluronate at the nonreducing end. Alginate oligosaccharides have been shown to stimulate the growth of human endothelial cells and the secretion of cytotoxic cytokines from human macrophage. Alginate can be converted into unsaturated monosaccharide by saccharification process using endolytic and exolytic alginate lyases, thus alginate lyases have potential as key biocatalyst for application of alginate as a renewable source for biochemicals and biofuels in near future. In this paper, structures and functions of various alginate lyases are reviewed. Prospects on future applications of alginate lyases are also discussed.


alginatealginate lyasealginate oligosaccharidesunsaturated monosaccharide
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© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011