Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.19, 8187-8202, 2018
Thermostable alpha-glucan phosphorylases: characteristics and industrial applications
alpha-Glucan phosphorylases (alpha-GPs) catalyze the reversible phosphorolysis of alpha-1,4-linked polysaccharides such as glycogen, starch, and maltodextrins, therefore playing a central role in the usage of storage polysaccharides. The discovery of these enzymes and their role in the course of catalytic conversion of glycogen was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1947. Nowadays, however, thermostable representatives attract special attention due to their vast potential in the enzymatic production of diverse carbohydrates and derivatives such as (functional) oligo- and (non-natural) polysaccharides, artificial starch, glycosides, and nucleotide sugars. One of the most recently explored utilizations of alpha-GPs is their role in the multi-enzymatic process of energy production stored in carbohydrate biobatteries. Regardless of their use, thermostable alpha-GPs offer significant advantages and facilitated bioprocess design due to their high operational temperatures. Here, we present an overview and comparison of up-to-date characterized thermostable alpha-GPs with a special focus on their reported biotechnological applications.