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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Occurrence of glucosylsucrose [alpha-D-glucopyranosyl- (1-->2)-alpha-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-D-fructofuranoside] and glucosylated homologues in cyanobacteria. Structural properties, cellular contents and possible function as thermoprotectants.

Little is known about the structure and function of oligosaccharides in cyanobacteria. In this study, a new class of saccharides from Nostoc was identified by MS and NMR techniques, consisting of alpha-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->2)-[alpha-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-->2)]n-beta-D-fructofuranosides ranging from the trisaccharide (n = 1) to decasaccharide (n = 8). In Nostoc ellipsosporum the cell content of saccharides increased 10-20-fold after heat stress (1 day, 40 degrees C) or during prolonged cultivation. Under these conditions the abundance of homologues of higher molecular mass (> pentasaccharide) increased and finally exceeded that of homologues of lower molecular mass including sucrose. Total intracellular content of the saccharides after heat stress was 5-10 mg x (g dry weight)(-1) corresponding to intracellular concentrations of 0.25-0.5% (w/v). A possible role of the oligosaccharides identified is in the protection of enzymes against heat inactivation. Whereas amylase from Nostoc was only weakly protected by the decasaccharide, alpha-amylase from porcine pancreas was more efficiently stabilized by the octasaccharide and decasaccharide. Evidence is presented for the widespread occurrence of the newly identified saccharides in cyanobacteria. The results are discussed including previous reports on cyanobacterial oligosaccharides and with respect to possible functions of these compounds in the living cell.[1]


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