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PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0147438. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147438. eCollection 2016.

Novel α-L-Fucosidases from a Soil Metagenome for Production of Fucosylated Human Milk Oligosaccharides.

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Center for BioProcess Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


This paper describes the discovery of novel α-L-fucosidases and evaluation of their potential to catalyse the transglycosylation reaction leading to production of fucosylated human milk oligosaccharides. Seven novel α-L-fucosidase-encoding genes were identified by functional screening of a soil-derived metagenome library and expressed in E. coli as recombinant 6xHis-tagged proteins. All seven fucosidases belong to glycosyl hydrolase family 29 (GH 29). Six of the seven α-L-fucosidases were substrate-inhibited, moderately thermostable and most hydrolytically active in the pH range 6-7, when tested with para-nitrophenyl-α-L-fucopyranoside (pNP-Fuc) as the substrate. In contrast, one fucosidase (Mfuc6) exhibited a high pH optimum and an unusual sigmoidal kinetics towards pNP-Fuc substrate. When tested for trans-fucosylation activity using pNP-Fuc as donor, most of the enzymes were able to transfer fucose to pNP-Fuc (self-condensation) or to lactose. With the α-L-fucosidase from Thermotoga maritima and the metagenome-derived Mfuc5, different fucosyllactose variants including the principal fucosylated HMO 2'-fucosyllactose were synthesised in yields of up to ~6.4%. Mfuc5 was able to release fucose from xyloglucan and could also use it as a fucosyl-donor for synthesis of fucosyllactose. This is the first study describing the use of glycosyl hydrolases for the synthesis of genuine fucosylated human milk oligosaccharides.

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