Carbohydrate de-N-acetylases acting on structural polysaccharides and glycoconjugates


Pascual, Sergi; Planas, Antoni


Deacetylation of N-acetylhexosamine residues in structural polysaccharides and glycoconjugates is catalyzed by different families of carbohydrate esterases that, despite different structural folds, share a common metal-assisted acid/base mechanism with the metal cation coordinated with a conserved Asp-His-His triad. These enzymes serve diverse biological functions in the modification of cell-surface polysaccharides in bacteria and fungi as well as in the metabolism of hexosamines in the biosynthesis of cellular glycoconjugates. Focusing on carbohydrate de-N-acetylases, this article summarizes the background of the different families from a structural and functional viewpoint and covers advances in the characterization of novel enzymes over the last 2–3 years. Current research is addressed to the identification of new deacetylases and unravel their biological functions as they are candidate targets for the design of antimicrobials against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Likewise, some families are also used as biocatalysts for the production of defined glycostructures with diverse applications.








Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, April 2021, v.61, p. 9-18

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