Biosynthetic Enzymes for (1,3)-β-Glucans and (1,3;1,6)-β-Glucans in Protozoans and Chromistans: Biochemical Characterization and Molecular Biology

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This chapter discusses the biochemical characterization and molecular biology of biosynthetic enzymes for (1,3)-β-glucans and (1,3:1,6)-β-Glucans in Protozoans and Chromistans. The biosynthesis of linear β-glucans is generally considered to involve several steps. The process starts with the synthesis of an initiator of polymerization or primer, followed by the transfer of the primer to a membrane-bound synthase. The latter catalyses the repetitive transfer of glucosyl units from an activated sugar donor to the acceptor-i.e. the primer or the elongating chain-until the polymerization stops. Most molecular events occurring during the biosynthesis of (1,3)-β-glucans and (1,3;1,6)-β-Glucans in Protozoans and Chromistans are not well understood. The process for which most biochemical data have been accumulated is the polymerization of linear (1,3)-β-glucan chains. The ability to synthesize β-glucans in vitro represents a very useful tool for assaying glucan synthases during enzyme purification. This is also useful in identifying the type of effectors that might influence enzyme activity in vivo and thus regulate the biosynthesis of the polysaccharides.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChemistry, Biochemistry, and Biology of 1-3 Beta Glucans and Related Polysaccharides
EditorsAntony Bacic, Geoffrey B. Fincher, Bruce A. Stone
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780123739711
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work and related research in the author’s laboratory were supported by the Swedish Centre for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering (Biomime).


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