One-pot multienzyme (OPME) systems for chemoenzymatic synthesis of carbohydrates

Hai Yu, Xi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Glycosyltransferase-catalyzed enzymatic and chemoenzymatic syntheses are powerful approaches for the production of oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, glycoconjugates, and their derivatives. Enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of sugar nucleotide donors can be combined with glycosyltransferases in one pot for efficient production of the target glycans from simple monosaccharides and acceptors. The identification of enzymes involved in the salvage pathway of sugar nucleotide generation has greatly facilitated the development of simplified and efficient one-pot multienzyme (OPME) systems for synthesizing major glycan epitopes in mammalian glycomes. The applications of OPME methods are steadily gaining popularity mainly due to the increasing availability of wild-type and engineered enzymes. Substrate promiscuity of these enzymes and their mutants allows OPME synthesis of carbohydrates with naturally occurring post-glycosylational modifications (PGMs) and their non-natural derivatives using modified monosaccharides as precursors. The OPME systems can be applied in sequence for synthesizing complex carbohydrates. The sequence of the sequential OPME processes, the glycosyltransferase used, and the substrate specificities of the glycosyltransferases define the structures of the products. The OPME and sequential OPME strategies can be extended to diverse glycans in other glycomes when suitable enzymes with substrate promiscuity become available. This Perspective summarizes the work of the authors and collaborators on the development of glycosyltransferase-based OPME systems for carbohydrate synthesis. Future directions are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2809-2818
Number of pages10
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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