Galactosyldiacylglycerols: From a Photosynthesis-Associated Apparatus to Structure-Defined In Vitro Assembling

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  • Jiabao Lyu, Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Jilin University
  • ,
  • Renjun Gao, Jilin University, Kina
  • Zheng Guo

Being ubiquitously present in plants, microalgae, and cyanobacteria and as the major constituents of thylakoid membranes, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) make up approximately 52 and 26%, respectively, of chloroplast lipids. Thylakoid membranes harbor the photosynthetic complexes and numerous essential biochemical pathways where MGDG and DGDG play a central role in facilitating photosynthesis light reaction, maintaining chloroplast morphology, and responding to abiotic stresses. Furthermore, these galactolipids are also bioactive compounds with antitumor, antimicrobial, antiviral, immunosuppressive, and anti-inflammatory activities and important nutritional value. These characteristics are strictly dependent upon their fatty acyl chain length, olefinic nature, and stereoconfiguration. However, their application potentials are practically untapped, largely as a result of the fact that their availability in large quantity and high purity (structured galactolipids) is challenging. In addition to laborious extraction from natural sources, in vitro assembling of these molecules could be a promising alternative. Thus, this review updates the latest advances in elucidating biosynthesis paths of MGDG and DGDG and related enzyme systems, which present invaluable inspiration to design approaches for a retrosynthesis of galactolipids. More critically, this work summarizes recent developments in the biological and enzymatic syntheses of galactolipids, especially the strategic scenarios for the construction of in vitro enzymatic and/or chemoenzymatic synthesis routes. Protein engineering of enzymes involved in the synthesis of MGDG and DGDG to improve their properties is highlighted, and the applications of galactolipids in foods and medicine are also discussed.

TidsskriftJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
NummerSpecial Issue: Lipid Science and Health
Antal sider19
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 1 apr. 2021

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