Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 135–176 | Cite as

Polysaccharide lyases

  • R. J. Linhardt
  • P. M. Galliher
  • C. L. Cooney


Polysaccharide lyases (or eliminases) are a class of enzymes (EC 4.2.2.-) that act to cleave certain activated glycosidic linkages present in acidic polysaccharides. These enzymes act through an eliminase mechanism, rather than through hydrolysis, resulting in unsaturated oligosaccharide products. Acidic polysaccharides are ubiquitous and so are the lyases that degrade them. This review article examines lyases that act on acidic polysaccharides of plant, animal, and microbial origin. These lyases are predominantly of microbial origin and come from a wide variety of both pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria and fungi. The lyases discussed include alginate lyase (EC, pectin lyase (EC, pectate lyase (EC, oligogalacturonide lyase (EC, exopolygalacturonate lyase (EC, chondroitin lyases (EC and EC, hyaluronate lyase (EC, heparin lyase (EC, heparan lyase (EC, and other unclassified lyases. This review examines the sources, regulation, purification, and properties of these polysaccharide lyases.

Index entries

Polysaccharide lyase eliminase alginate pectin pectate chondroitin heparin heparan hyaluronate review enzymecatalyzed eliminative polysaccharide-cleavage epimerization glycosidic linkage, cleavage of oligosaccharide 


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Linhardt
    • 1
  • P. M. Galliher
    • 2
  • C. L. Cooney
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Medicinal Chemistry, College of PharmacyThe University of IowaIowa City
  2. 2.Biogen CorporationCambridge
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringThe Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge

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