Enzymatic synthesis of l-fucose from l-fuculose using a fucose isomerase from Raoultella sp. And the biochemical and structural analyses of the enzyme

In Jung Kim, Do Hyoung Kim, Ki Hyun Nam, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: l-Fucose is a rare sugar with potential uses in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. The enzymatic approach using l-fucose isomerase, which interconverts l-fucose and l-fuculose, can be an efficient way of producing l-fucose for industrial applications. Here, we performed biochemical and structural analyses of l-fucose isomerase identified from a novel species of Raoultella (RdFucI). Results: RdFucI exhibited higher enzymatic activity for l-fuculose than for l-fucose, and the rate for the reverse reaction of converting l-fuculose to l-fucose was higher than that for the forward reaction of converting l-fucose to l-fuculose. In the equilibrium mixture, a much higher proportion of l-fucose (~ ninefold) was achieved at 30 °C and pH 7, indicating that the enzyme-catalyzed reaction favors the formation of l-fucose from l-fuculose. When biochemical analysis was conducted using l-fuculose as the substrate, the optimal conditions for RdFucI activity were determined to be 40 °C and pH 10. However, the equilibrium composition was not affected by reaction temperature in the range of 30 to 50 °C. Furthermore, RdFucI was found to be a metalloenzyme requiring Mn2+ as a cofactor. The comparative crystal structural analysis of RdFucI revealed the distinct conformation of α7-α8 loop of RdFucI. The loop is present at the entry of the substrate binding pocket and may affect the catalytic activity. Conclusions: RdFucI-catalyzed isomerization favored the reaction from l-fuculose to l-fucose. The biochemical and structural data of RdFucI will be helpful for the better understanding of the molecular mechanism of l-FucIs and the industrial production of l-fucose.

Original languageEnglish
Article number282
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 5



  • l-Fucose
  • l-Fucose isomerase
  • l-Fuculose
  • Raoultella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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