Enzymatic Deconstruction of Backbone Structures of the Ramified Regions in Pectins
The pectic enzymes are a diverse group of enzymes that collectively degrade pectin, a mixture of highly heterogeneous and branched polysaccharides rich in d -galacturonic acids forming a major component of the primary cell wall of plants. This review covers key enzymes that function to deconstruct the “ramified region” of pectin. The enzymes include glycoside hydrolases and polysaccharide lyases that degrade complex pectic domains consisting of rhamnogalacturonans, xylogalacturonans, and other heterogeneous polymers. The chemical nature of the pectic substrates for the enzymes is presented. The biochemical properties of the enzymes, the mechanisms of enzyme actions, and related structures and functions, are described. Applications of these enzymes in fruit juice processing and in the production of bioactive compounds, as well as their technological relevance to the deconstruction of cell wall structures for biomass conversion are discussed.