pp 1-34 | Cite as

Bacterial Glycoengineering as a Biosynthetic Route to Customized Glycomolecules

  • Laura E. Yates
  • Dominic C. Mills
  • Matthew P. DeLisaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series


Bacteria have garnered increased interest in recent years as a platform for the biosynthesis of a variety of glycomolecules such as soluble oligosaccharides, surface-exposed carbohydrates, and glycoproteins. The ability to engineer commonly used laboratory species such as Escherichia coli to efficiently synthesize non-native sugar structures by recombinant expression of enzymes from various carbohydrate biosynthesis pathways has allowed for the facile generation of important products such as conjugate vaccines, glycosylated outer membrane vesicles, and a variety of other research reagents for studying and understanding the role of glycans in living systems. This chapter highlights some of the key discoveries and technologies for equipping bacteria with the requisite biosynthetic machinery to generate such products. As the bacterial glyco-toolbox continues to grow, these technologies are expected to expand the range of glycomolecules produced recombinantly in bacterial systems, thereby opening up this platform to an even larger number of applications.

Graphical Abstract


Bacterial oligosaccharyltransferase Bacterial polysaccharides Bacterial protein glycosylation Carbohydrate biosynthesis pathways Conjugate vaccines Glycoengineering Glycosyltransferase 



ATP-binding cassette transporter


Capsular polysaccharide




Enterobacterial common antigen


Exotoxin A from Pseudomonas aeruginosa


















Hyaluronic acid


Human growth hormone


Haemophilus influenza type b


Immunoglobulin G




Lewis X antigen


Lewis Y antigen








Maltose binding protein


Neural cell adhesion molecule


N-Acetylneuraminic acid


Outer membrane vesicle


Polyethylene glycol


Polysialic acid


Surface layer


Shigatoxin producing Escherichia coli


Shiga toxin


Thomsen–Friedenreich antigen


Undecaprenyl pyrophosphate


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura E. Yates
    • 1
  • Dominic C. Mills
    • 1
  • Matthew P. DeLisa
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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