Endo-xylanases as tools for production of substituted xylooligosaccharides with prebiotic properties

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Xylan has a main chain consisting of β-1,4-linked xylose residues with diverse substituents. Endoxylanases cleave the xylan chain at cleavage sites determined by the substitution pattern and thus give different oligosaccharide product patterns. Most known endoxylanases belong to glycoside hydrolase (GH) families 10 and 11. These enzymes work well on unsubstituted xylan but accept substituents in certain subsites. The GH11 enzymes are more restricted by substituents, but on the other hand, they are normally more active than the GH10 enzymes on insoluble substrates, because of their smaller size. GH5 endoxylanases accept arabinose substituents in several subsites and require it in the − 1 subsite. This specificity makes the GH5 endoxylanases very useful for degradation of highly arabinose-substituted xylans and for the selective production of arabinoxylooligosaccharides, without formation of unsubstituted xylooligosaccharides. The GH30 endoxylanases have a related type of specificity in that they require a uronic acid substituent in the − 2 subsite, which makes them very useful for the production of uronic acid substituted oligosaccharides. The ability of dietary xylooligosaccharides to function as prebiotics in humans is governed by their substitution patterns. Endoxylanases are thus excellent tools to tailor prebiotic oligosaccharides to stimulate various types of intestinal bacteria and to cause fermentation in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Continuously increasing knowledge on the function of the gut microbiota and discoveries of novel endoxylanases increase the possibilities to achieve health-promoting effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9081-9088
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences
  • Industrial Biotechnology

Free keywords

  • Arabinose
  • Oligosaccharide
  • Prebiotics
  • Uronic acids
  • Xylanase


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