Donor substrate promiscuity of bacterial β1-3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases and acceptor substrate flexibility of β1-4-galactosyltransferases

Yanhong Li, Mengyang Xue, Xue Sheng, Hai Yu, Jie Zeng, Vireak Thon, Yi Chen, Musleh M. Muthana, Peng G. Wang, Xi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


β1-3-N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases (β3GlcNAcTs) and β1-4-galactosyltransferases (β4GalTs) have been broadly used in enzymatic synthesis of N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc)-containing oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates including poly-LacNAc, and lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT) found in the milk of human and other mammals. In order to explore oligosaccharides and derivatives that can be synthesized by the combination of β3GlcNAcTs and β4GalTs, donor substrate specificity studies of two bacterial β3GlcNAcTs from Helicobacter pylori (Hpβ3GlcNAcT) and Neisseria meningitidis (NmLgtA), respectively, using a library of 39 sugar nucleotides were carried out. The two β3GlcNAcTs have complementary donor substrate promiscuity and 13 different trisaccharides were produced. They were used to investigate the acceptor substrate specificities of three β4GalTs from Neisseria meningitidis (NmLgtB), Helicobacter pylori (Hpβ4GalT), and bovine (Bβ4GalT), respectively. Ten of the 13 trisaccharides were shown to be tolerable acceptors for at least one of these β4GalTs. The application of NmLgtA in one-pot multienzyme (OPME) synthesis of two trisaccharides including GalNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcβProN3 and Galβ1-3Galβ1-4Glc was demonstrated. The study provides important information for using these glycosyltransferases as powerful catalysts in enzymatic and chemoenzymatic syntheses of oligosaccharides and derivatives which can be useful probes and reagents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1696-1705
Number of pages10
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016


  • Acceptor substrate specificity
  • Carbohydrate
  • Donor substrate promiscuity
  • Enzymatic synthesis
  • Glycosyltransferase
  • One-pot multienzyme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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