Research & Teaching Faculty

Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBrumer, H
EditorHorváth, IT
Book TitleThe Encyclopedia of Catalysis
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
CityNew York
Keywordsbiomass, carbohydrate binding module (CBM), CAZy, glycosidase, glycoside hydrolase, GLYCOSYL-ENZYME INTERMEDIATE, polysaccharide lyase, TRANSGLYCOSYLATION

The enzymes that catalyze the synthesis and degradation of oligo- and polysaccharides are among the most important in the biosphere, because of the key role they play in the global carbon cycle. Thanks to a long and rich history of scientific study, the catalytic mechanisms of the glycoside hydrolases and transglycosylases are generally well understood in terms of enzyme-substrate interactions and transition state structure. Recent structure-function studies of polysaccharide lyases have also begun to unravel the secrets of catalysis in these distinct classes of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Built upon a firm understanding of enzyme structure and mechanism, an impressive number of technological applications highlight the prowess of these biological catalysts.