Alginate lyase: Structure, property, and application

Invited Review


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.


alginate alginate lyase alginate oligosaccharides unsaturated monosaccharide 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and BiotechnologyKyungsung UniversityBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyInha UniversityIncheonKorea
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringKyung Hee UniversityYonginKorea

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