Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Preparative scale purification of fucosyl-N-acetylglucosamine disaccharides and their evaluation as potential prebiotics and antiadhesins.

PMID 25977209


Fucosyl-N-acetylglucosamine disaccharides are important core structures that form part of human mucosal and milk glyco-complexes. We have previously shown that AlfB and AlfC α-L-fucosidases from Lactobacillus casei are able to synthesize fucosyl-α-1,3--N-acetylglucosamine (Fuc-α1,3-GlcNAc) and fucosyl-α-1,6-N-acetylglucosamine (Fuc-α1,6-GlcNAc), respectively, in transglycosylation reactions. Here, these reactions were performed in a semipreparative scale, and the produced disaccharides were purified. The maximum yields obtained of Fuc-α1,3-GlcNAc and Fuc-α1,6-GlcNAc were 4.2 and 9.3 g/l, respectively. The purified fucosyl-disaccharides were then analyzed for their prebiotic effect in vitro using strains from the Lactobacillus casei/paracasei/rhamnosus group and from Bifidobacterium species. The results revealed that 6 out of 11 L. casei strains and 2 out of 6 L. rhamnosus strains tested were able to ferment Fuc-α1,3-GlcNAc, and L. casei BL87 and L. rhamnosus BL327 strains were also able to ferment Fuc-α1,6-GlcNAc. DNA hybridization experiments suggested that the metabolism of Fuc-α1,3-GlcNAc in those strains relies in an α-L-fucosidase homologous to AlfB. Bifidobacterium breve and Bibidobacterium pseudocatenolatum species also metabolized Fuc-α1,3-GlcNAc. Notably, L-fucose was excreted from all the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains fermenting fucosyl-disaccharides, except from strains L. rhamnosus BL358 and BL377, indicating that in these latest strains, L-fucose was catabolized. The fucosyl-disaccharides were also tested for their inhibitory potential of pathogen adhesion to human colon adenocarcinoma epithelial (HT29) cell line. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains isolated from infantile gastroenteritis were used, and the results showed that both fucosyl-disaccharides inhibited adhesion to different extents of certain EPEC strains to HT29 cells in tissue culture.