Exopolysaccharides produced by Lactococcus lactis : from genetic engineering to improved rheological properties?

M. Kleerebezem, R. Kranenburg, van, R. Tuinier, I.C. Boels, P. Zoon, E. Looijesteijn, J. Hugenholtz, W.M. de Vos

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102 Citations (Scopus)
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Over the last years, important advances have been made in the study of the production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) by several lactic acid bacteria, including Lactococcus lactis. From different EPS-producing lactococcal strains the specific eps gene clusters have been characterised. They contain eps genes, which are involved in EPS repeating unit synthesis, export, polymerisation, and chain length determination. The function of the glycosyltransferase genes has been established and the availability of these genes opened the way to EPS engineering. In addition to the eps genes, biosynthesis of EPS requires a number of housekeeping genes that are involved in the metabolic pathways leading to the EPS-building blocks, the nucleotide sugars. The identification and characterisation of several of these housekeeping genes (galE, galU, rfbABCD) allows the design of metabolic engineering strategies that should lead to increased EPS production levels by L. lactis. Finally, model development has been initiated in order to predict the physicochemical consequences of the addition of a EPS to a product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-365
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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