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Biocatalytic Synthesis of Fungal β-Glucans

Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9, Heroon Polytechniou Str., Zographou Campus, 15780 Athens, Greece
Biochemical and Chemical Process Engineering, Division of Sustainable Process Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally in this work.
Catalysts 2018, 8(7), 274;
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocatalysis for Industrial Applications)
Glucans are the dominant polysaccharide constituents of fungal cell walls. Remarkably, these major bioactive polysaccharides account for the beneficial effects that have been observed by many mushrooms of medicinal interest. Accordingly, the prevailing tendency is the use of bioactive mushroom β-glucans mainly in pharmaceutical industries or as food additives, since it seems that they can be involved in meeting the overall growing demand for food in the future, but also in medical and material sectors. β-(1,3)-Glucan synthase (GLS) is the responsible enzyme for the synthesis of these important polysaccharides, which is a member of the glycosyl transferase (GT) family. For optimizing the production of such natural polymers of great interest, the comprehension of the fungal synthetic mechanism, as well as the biochemical and molecular characteristics of the key enzyme GLS and its expression seem to be crucial. Overall, in this review article, the fungal β-glucans biosynthesis by GLS is summarized, while the in vitro synthesis of major polysaccharides is also discussed, catalyzed by glycoside hydrolases (GHs) and GTs. Possible future prospects of GLS in medicine and in developing other potential artificial composite materials with industrial applications are also summarized. View Full-Text
Keywords: glucans; bioactive polysaccharides; β-(1,3)-glucan synthase; glycosyl transferase; in vitro synthesis; glycoside hydrolases glucans; bioactive polysaccharides; β-(1,3)-glucan synthase; glycosyl transferase; in vitro synthesis; glycoside hydrolases
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Papaspyridi, L.-M.; Zerva, A.; Topakas, E. Biocatalytic Synthesis of Fungal β-Glucans. Catalysts 2018, 8, 274.

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