Research & Teaching Faculty

A hierarchical classification of polysaccharide lyases for glycogenomics

TitleA hierarchical classification of polysaccharide lyases for glycogenomics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLombard, V, Bernard, T, Rancurel, C, Brumer, H, Coutinho, PM, Henrissat, B
JournalBiochemical Journal

Carbohydrate-active enzymes face huge substrate diversity in a highly selective manner using only a limited number of available folds. They are therefore subjected to multiple divergent and convergent evolutionary events. This and their frequent modularity render their functional annotation in genomes difficult in a number of cases. In the present paper, a classification of polysaccharide lyases (the enzymes that cleave polysaccharides using an elimination instead of a hydrolytic mechanism) is shown thoroughly for the first time. Based on the analysis of a large panel of experimentally characterized polysaccharide lyases, we examined the correlation of various enzyme properties with the three levels of the classification: fold, family and subfamily. The resulting hierarchical classification, which should help annotate relevant genes in genomic efforts, is available and constantly updated at the Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes Database (