Recent progress in synthesis of carbohydrates with sugar nucleotide-dependent glycosyltransferases

Lan Na, Riyao Li, Xi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sugar nucleotide-dependent glycosyltransferases (GTs) are key enzymes that catalyze the formation of glycosidic bonds in nature. They have been increasingly applied in the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and glycoconjugates with or without in situ generation of sugar nucleotides. Human GTs are becoming more accessible and new bacterial GTs have been identified and characterized. An increasing number of crystal structures elucidated for GTs from mammalian and bacterial sources facilitate structure-based design of mutants as improved catalysts for synthesis. Automated platforms have also been developed for chemoenzymatic synthesis of carbohydrates. Recent progress in applying sugar nucleotide-dependent GTs in enzymatic and chemoenzymatic synthesis of mammalian glycans and glycoconjugates, bacterial surface glycans, and glycosylated natural products from bacteria and plants are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Biocatalyst
  • Carbohydrate
  • Chemoenzymatic synthesis
  • Enzymatic synthesis
  • Glycosyltransferase
  • Sugar nucleotide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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