Recent progress on biological production of α-arbutin
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Arbutin, a glucoside of hydroquinone, is used as a powerful skin lightening agent in the cosmeceutical industry because of its strong inhibitory effect on the human tyrosinase activity. It is a natural compound occurring in a number of plants, with a β-anomeric form of the glycoside bond between glucose and hydroquinone. α-Arbutin, which glycoside bond is generated with α-anomeric form, is the isomer of natural arbutin. α-Arbutin is generally produced by transglucosylation of hydroquinone by microbial glycosyltransferases. It is interesting that α-arbutin is found to be over 10 times more effective than arbutin, and thus biological production of α-arbutin attracts increasing attention. Seven different microbial enzymes have been identified to be able to produce α-arbutin, including α-amylase, sucrose phosphorlase, cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase, α-glucosidase, dextransucrase, amylosucrase, and sucrose isomerase. In this work, enzymatic and microbial production of α-arbutin is reviewed in detail.
KeywordsArbutin Glucoside Glycosyltransferase Transglucosylation Tyrosinase inhibitor
This work was supported by the Support Project of Jiangsu Province (No. 2015-SWYY-009), the Research Program of State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University (Nos. SKLF-ZZA-201802 and SKLF-ZZB-201814), and the National First-Class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology (No. JUFSTR20180203).
Compliance with ethical standards
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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