An enzyme family reunion - similarities, differences and eccentricities in actions on alpha-glucans

Eun-Seong Seo, Camilla Christiansen, Maher Abou Hachem, Morten Munch Nielsen, Kenji Fukuda, Sophie Bozonnet, Andreas Blennow, Nushin Aghajari, Richard Haser, Birte Svensson

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    alpha-Glucans in general, including starch, glycogen and their derived oligosaccharides are processed by a host of more or less closely related enzymes that represent wide diversity in structure, mechanism, specificity and biological role. Sophisticated three-dimensional structures continue to emerge hand-in-hand with the gaining of novel insight in modes of action. We are witnessing the "test of time" blending with remaining questions and new relationships for these enzymes. Information from both within and outside of ALAMY 3 Symposium will provide examples on what the family contains and outline some future directions. In 2007 a quantum leap crowned the structural biology by the glucansucrase crystal structure. This initiates the disclosure of the mystery on the organisation of the multidomain structure and the "robotics mechanism" of this group of enzymes. The central issue on architecture and domain interplay in multidomain enzymes is also relevant in connection with the recent focus on carbohydrate-binding domains as well as on surface binding sites and their long underrated potential. Other questions include, how different or similar are glycoside hydrolase families 13 and 31 and is the lid finally lifted off the disguise of the starch lyase, also belonging to family 31? Is family 57 holding back secret specificities? Will the different families be sporting new "eccentric" functions, are there new families out there, and why are crystal structures of "simple" enzymes still missing? Indeed new understanding and discovery of biological roles continuously emphasize value of the collections of enzyme models, sequences, and evolutionary trees which will also be enabling advancement in design for useful and novel applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)967-979
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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