Enzymatic synthesis of alkyl glycosides using glycoside hydrolases is well studied, but has yet to reach industrial scale, primarily due to limited yields. Reduced water content should increase yields by limiting the unwanted hydrolytic side reaction. However, previous studies have shown that a reduction in water content surprisingly favors hydrolysis over transglycosylation. In addition, glycoside hydrolases normally require a high degree of hydration to function efficiently. This study compares six enzyme preparation methods to improve resilience and activity of two glycoside hydrolases from Thermotoga neapolitana (TnBgl3B and TnBgl1A) in micro-aqueous hexanol. Indeed, when adsorbed onto Accurel MP-1000 both enzymes increasingly favored transglycosylation over hydrolysis at low hydration, in contrast to freeze-dried or untreated enzyme. Additionally, they displayed 17–70× higher reaction rates compared to freeze-dried enzyme at low water activity, while displaying comparable or lower activity for fully hydrated systems. These results provide valuable information for use of enzymes under micro-aqueous conditions and build toward utilizing the full synthetic potential of glycoside hydrolases.
- Organic solvent
- Alkyl glycoside