Fucosylated oligosaccharides are interesting molecules due to their bioactive properties. In particular, their application as active ingredient in milk powders is attractive for dairy industries. The objective of this study was to characterize the glycosyl hydrolase family 29 α-fucosidase produced by Aspergillus niger and test its ability to transfucosylate lactose with a view towards potential industrial applications such as the valorization of the lactose side stream produced by dairy industry. In order to reduce costs and toxicity the use of free fucose instead of environmentally questionable fucose derivatives was studied. In contrast to earlier studies, a recombinantly produced A. niger α-fucosidase was utilized. Using pNP-fucose as substrate, the optimal pH for hydrolytic activity was determined to be 3.8. The optimal temperature for a 30-min reaction was 60 °C, and considering temperature stability, the optimal temperature for a 24-h reaction was defined as 45 °C For the same hydrolysis reaction, the kinetic values were calculated to be 0.385 mM for the KM and 2.8 mmol/(mg*h) for the Vmax. Transfucosylation of lactose occurred at high substrate concentrations when reaction time was elongated to several days. The structure of the product trisaccharide was defined as 1-fucosyllactose, where fucose is α-linked to the anomeric carbon of the β-glucose moiety of lactose. Furthermore, the enzyme was able to hydrolyze its own transfucosylation product and 2′-fucosyllactose but only poorly 3-fucosyllactose. As a conclusion, α-fucosidase from A. niger can transfucosylate lactose using free fucose as substrate producing a novel non-reducing 1-fucosyllactose.
- Aspergillus niger
- Non-reducing sugar