Sucrose analogs: an attractive (bio)source for glycodiversification
Covering: up to April 2012 Sucrose is a widespread carbohydrate in nature and is involved in many biological processes. Its natural abundance makes it a very appealing renewable raw material for the synthetic production of high-valued molecules. To further diversify the structure and the inherent properties of these molecules, the access to sucrose analogs is of utmost interest and has historically been widely explored through chemical means. Nature also offers a large panel of sucrose-scaffold derivatives, including phosphorylated or highly substituted phenylpropanoid esters amenable to transformation. Additionally, the use of microorganisms or enzymes could provide an alternative ecologically-compatible manner to diversify sucrose-scaffold derivatives to enable the synthesis of oligo- or polysaccharides, glycoconjugates or polymers that could exhibit original properties for biotechnological applications. This review covers the main biological routes to sucrose derivatives or analogs that are prevalent in nature, that can be obtained via enzymatic processes and the potential applications of such sucrose derivatives in sugar bioconversion, in particular through the engineering of substrates, enzymes or microorganisms.