Department of Aquatic Biotechnology and Bioproduct Engineering, Engineering and Technology institute Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, 9747 AG, the Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]
Glycogen branching enzymes (GBEs) convert starch into branched α-glucan polymers. To explore if the amylose content of substrates effects the structure of the branched α-glucans, mixtures of amylose and amylopectin were converted by four thermophilic GBEs. The degree of branching and molecular weight of the products increased with an increasing percentage of amylose with the GH57 GBEs of Thermus thermophilus and Thermococcus kodakarensis, and the GH13 GBEs of Rhodothermus marinus and Petrotoga mobilis. The only exception is that the degree of branching of the Petrotoga mobilis GBE products is not influenced by the amylose content. A second difference is the relatively high hydrolytic activity of two GH57 GBEs, while the two GH13 GBEs have almost no hydrolytic activity. Moreover, the two GH13 GBEs synthesize branched α-glucans with a narrow molecular weight distribution, while the two GH57 GBEs products consist of two or three molecular weight fractions.