Glycobiology is dogged by the relative scarcity of synthetic, defined oligosaccharides. Enzyme-catalysed glycosylation using glycoside hydrolases is feasible but is hampered by the innate hydrolytic activity of these enzymes. Protein engineering is useful to remedy this, but it usually requires prior structural knowledge of the target enzyme, and/or relies on extensive, time-consuming screening and analysis. Here we describe a straightforward strategy that involves rational rapid in silico analysis of protein sequences. The method pinpoints 6-12 single mutant candidates to improve transglycosylation yields. Requiring very little prior knowledge of the target enzyme other than its sequence, the method is generic and procures catalysts for the formation of glycosidic bonds involving various d / l -, α/β-pyranosides or furanosides, and exo - and endo -action. Moreover, mutations validated in one enzyme can be transposed to others, even distantly related enzymes.
- Biokemi och molekylärbiologi