Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes : Sequences, Shapes, Contortions and Cells

The last two decades have seen significant advances in the discovery of new glycosidase sequences, sequence-based classification into families and clans, 3D structures and reaction mechanisms, providing new insights into enzymatic catalysis.

New impetus to these studies has been provided by the challenges inherent in plant and microbial polysaccharide degradation, both in the context of environmentally-sustainable routes to foods and biofuels, and increasingly in human nutrition. Study of the reaction mechanism of glycoside hydrolases has also inspired the development of enzyme inhibitors, both as mechanistic probes and increasingly as therapeutic agents.