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Bacterial exopolysaccharides: biosynthesis pathways and engineering strategies

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      Bacteria produce a wide range of exopolysaccharides which are synthesized via different biosynthesis pathways. The genes responsible for synthesis are often clustered within the genome of the respective production organism. A better understanding of the fundamental processes involved in exopolysaccharide biosynthesis and the regulation of these processes is critical toward genetic, metabolic and protein-engineering approaches to produce tailor-made polymers. These designer polymers will exhibit superior material properties targeting medical and industrial applications. Exploiting the natural design space for production of a variety of biopolymer will open up a range of new applications. Here, we summarize the key aspects of microbial exopolysaccharide biosynthesis and highlight the latest engineering approaches toward the production of tailor-made variants with the potential to be used as valuable renewable and high-performance products for medical and industrial applications.

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      Most cited references 270

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      The Carbohydrate-Active EnZymes database (CAZy): an expert resource for Glycogenomics

      The Carbohydrate-Active Enzyme (CAZy) database is a knowledge-based resource specialized in the enzymes that build and breakdown complex carbohydrates and glycoconjugates. As of September 2008, the database describes the present knowledge on 113 glycoside hydrolase, 91 glycosyltransferase, 19 polysaccharide lyase, 15 carbohydrate esterase and 52 carbohydrate-binding module families. These families are created based on experimentally characterized proteins and are populated by sequences from public databases with significant similarity. Protein biochemical information is continuously curated based on the available literature and structural information. Over 6400 proteins have assigned EC numbers and 700 proteins have a PDB structure. The classification (i) reflects the structural features of these enzymes better than their sole substrate specificity, (ii) helps to reveal the evolutionary relationships between these enzymes and (iii) provides a convenient framework to understand mechanistic properties. This resource has been available for over 10 years to the scientific community, contributing to information dissemination and providing a transversal nomenclature to glycobiologists. More recently, this resource has been used to improve the quality of functional predictions of a number genome projects by providing expert annotation. The CAZy resource resides at URL:
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        Principles of c-di-GMP signalling in bacteria.

         Regine Hengge (2009)
        On the stage of bacterial signal transduction and regulation, bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) has long played the part of Sleeping Beauty. c-di-GMP was first described in 1987, but only recently was it recognized that the enzymes that 'make and break' it are not only ubiquitous in the bacterial world, but are found in many species in huge numbers. As a key player in the decision between the motile planktonic and sedentary biofilm-associated bacterial 'lifestyles', c-di-GMP binds to an unprecedented range of effector components and controls diverse targets, including transcription, the activities of enzymes and larger cellular structures. This Review focuses on emerging principles of c-di-GMP signalling using selected systems in different bacteria as examples.
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          Hyaluronan: from extracellular glue to pericellular cue.


            Author and article information

            1Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources, Technische Universität München Straubing, Germany
            2Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University Palmerston North, New Zealand
            3The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Palmerston North, New Zealand
            Author notes

            Edited by: Weiwen Zhang, Tianjin University, China

            Reviewed by: Jun-Jie Zhang, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Alan W. Decho, University of South Carolina, USA

            *Correspondence: Jochen Schmid, Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources, Technische Universität München, Schulgasse 16, 94315 Straubing, Germany j.schmid@

            This article was submitted to Microbiotechnology, Ecotoxicology and Bioremediation, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

            Front Microbiol
            Front Microbiol
            Front. Microbiol.
            Frontiers in Microbiology
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            26 May 2015
            : 6
            Copyright © 2015 Schmid, Sieber and Rehm.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

            Figures: 5, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 269, Pages: 24, Words: 0


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