03 May June 17, 2021 – Bioeconomy, what’s new in Science ? – The controlled synthesis of oligosaccharides and biosurfactants from sucrose by the engineering of bacterial enzymes
Over the past decades, the health-promoting benefits of non-digestible carbohydrates have gained considerable attention, especially through their modulatory effect on the gut microbiota. Synthesis of new structures is of primary interest to provide new generations of functional products and better understand their effects. In another domain, sustainability concerns push forward the research on renewable and recyclable surfactants with well-defined and highly reproducible structures.
With the progress in bioinformatics, structure-function studies, screening technologies and enzyme engineering, new alpha-transglucosylases were recently discovered by our group, which have a long-lasting experience in this field. These enzymes have been further tailored to produce innovative biosourced compounds.
This presentation will first briefly focus on the structure-function relationship studies of these intriguing enzymes, aiming at better understanding the determinants responsible for linkage specificity or polymer size control. These findings open promising strategies for customizing α-glucan architectures on purpose. An illustration of recent developments for the synthesis of glucooligosaccharides rich in α-1,6, α-1,2 and/or α-1,3 osidic linkages will be shown, as well as the design of eco-friendly processes for the production of new alkyl-polyglucosides.