A systematic approach to study the pH-dependent release, productivity and product specificity of dextransucrases

Jonas Schmid, Julia Bechtner, Rudi F. Vogel, Frank Jakob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Dextransucrases are extracellular enzymes, which catalyze the formation of α-1→6-linked glucose polymers from sucrose. These enzymes are exclusively expressed by lactic acid bacteria, which commonly acidify the extracellular environment due to their physiology. Dextransucrases are thus confronted with steadily changing reaction conditions in regards to the environmental pH, which can further affect the amount of released dextransucrases. In this work, we studied the effect of the environmental pH on the release, the productivity and the product specificity of the dextransucrase expressed by Lactobacillus (L.) hordei TMW 1.1822. Dextransucrases were recovered as crude extracts at pH 3.5-pH 6.5 and then again used to produce dextrans at these pH values. The respectively produced dextran amounts and sizes were determined and the obtained results finally systematically correlated. Results: Maximum dextran amounts were produced at pH 4.0 and pH 4.5, while the productivity of the dextransucrases significantly decreased at pH 3.5 and pH 6.5. The distribution of dextran amounts produced at different pH most likely reflects the pH dependent activity of the dextransucrases released by L. hordei, since different transglycosylation rates were determined at different pH using the same dextransucrase amounts. Moreover, similar hydrolysis activities were detected at all tested conditions despite significant losses of transglycosylation activities indicating initial hydrolysis prior to transglycosylation reactions. The molar masses and rms radii of dextrans increased up to pH 5.5 independently of the stability of the enzyme. The gelling properties of dextrans produced at pH 4.0 and pH 5.5 were different. Conclusions: The presented methodological approach allows the controlled production of dextrans with varying properties and could be transferred and adapted to other microbes for systematic studies on the release and functionality of native sucrases or other extracellular enzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dextransucrase
  • Extracellular enzyme
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Systematic approach


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