Synthesis of xyloglucan oligo- and polysaccharides with glycosynthase technology
Abstract: Xyloglucans are polysaccharides found as storage polymers in seeds and tubers, and as cross-linking glycans in the cell wall of plants. Their structure is complex with intricate branching patterns, which contribute to the physical properties of the polysaccharide including its binding to and interaction with other glycans such as cellulose.Xyloglucan is widely used in bulk quantities in the food, textile and paper making industries. With an increasing interest in technically more advanced applications of xyloglucan, such as novel biocomposites, there is a need to understand and control the properties and interactions of xyloglucan with other compounds, to decipher the relationship between xyloglucan structure and function, and in particular the effect of different branching patterns. However, due to the structural heterogeneity of the polysaccharide as obtained from natural sources, relevant studies have not been possible to perform in practise. This fact has stimulated an interest in synthetic methods to obtain xyloglucan mimics and analogs with well-defined structure and decoration patterns.Glycosynthases are hydrolytically inactive mutant glycosidases that catalyse the formation of glycosidic linkages between glycosyl fluoride donors and glycoside acceptors. Since its first conception in 1998, the technology is emerging as a useful tool in the synthesis of large, complex polysaccharides. This thesis presents the generation and characterisation of glycosynthases based on xyloglucanase scaffolds for the synthesis of well-defined homogenous xyloglucan oligo- and polysaccharides with regular substitution patterns.
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