Oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates find application in the food, feed, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry, which makes
glycosylation the target for development of new therapeutic agents, functional food ingredients and other valuable molecules. Unlike
other biological molecules, the synthesis of carbohydrates is not template dependent, such that the design of a vast catalog of multifunctional
glycostructures is potentially possible. The challenge to achieve regio- and stereo selective structures has made the carbohydrate
chemistry one of the most defiant fields of study over the last century, since the synthesis of such a complex molecules is difficult and often
impossible to achieve by solely a traditional chemical approach. Enzymatic synthesis however, generally leads to structurally controlled
products and overcomes structural complexity. Hence, enzymatic and chemo-enzymatic processes continue gaining attention
through the years. Although nature supplies a pool of enzymes able to efficiently catalyze a number of reactions, there are still many
transformations requiring redesign at molecular level. Different approaches for the synthesis of valuable glycostructures are covered in
this review and their scope and limitations for industrial application are discussed.
Keywords: Fructooligosaccharides, fructosyltransferase, glucansucrase, industrial biocatalysis, inulin, substrate engineering.
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