Enzymatic production of a suite of human milk oligosaccharides directly in milk

Valentina N. Perna, Sebastian Meier, Anne S. Meyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) denote specific glycans in human breast milk. They function as prebiotics, immune modulating, and antimicrobial agents in the gut of breastfed infants, and certain HMOs even promote the cognitive development of the baby. HMOs are virtually absent in cow’s milk and hence in infant formula, which provides a huge incentive for identifying ways in which HMOs can be produced to improve infant formulas. Here, we show that different sialylated and fucosylated HMOs can be generated in cow’s milk via different simultaneous enzymatic transglycosylation reactions catalyzed by an engineered sialidase (EC, from Trypanosoma rangeli) and an 1,2-α-L-fucosidase (EC, from Tannerella forsinthia) acting on the lactose in the milk and on casein glycomacropeptide, two types of commercially available HMOs, i.e. 2′-fucosyllactose and lacto-N-neotetraose, added to the milk. We also outline the details of the individual reactions in aqueous systems, demonstrate that the enzymatic reactions can be accomplished at 5 °C, and validate the products formed by LC-MS and NMR analysis. Enzymatic production of HMOs directly in milk provides opportunities for enriching milk and infant formulas and extends the use of enzymatic transglycosylation reactions to synthesis of HMOs in milk and eventually in other beverages.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110196
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • HMO's
  • Transsialidase
  • Trypanosoma rangeli
  • Transfucosidase
  • Tannerella forsinthia
  • One pot reaction
  • Organic whole milk


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