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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Jun;8(3):254-63.

Glycosyltransferases: managers of small molecules.

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  • 1Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP), Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK.


Studies of the glycosyltransferases (GTs) of small molecules have greatly increased in recent years as new approaches have been used to identify their genes and characterize their catalytic activities. These enzymes recognize diverse acceptors, including plant metabolites, phytotoxins and xenobiotics. Glycosylation alters the hydrophilicity of the acceptors, their stability and chemical properties, their subcellular localisation and often their bioactivity. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the role of GTs in the plant and the utility of GTs as biocatalysts, the latter arising from their regio- and enantioselectivity and their ability to recognize substrates that are not limited to plant metabolites.

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