Enzymatic Process for the Carrageenolytic Bioconversion of Sulfated Polygalactans into β-Neocarrabiose and 3,6-Anhydro- d -galactose

Duleepa Pathiraja, Junghwan Cho, Peter Stougaard, In Geol Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Oligosaccharides and anhydro-sugars derived from carrageenan have great potential as functional foods and drugs showing various bioactivities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antitumor, and cytotoxic activities. Although preparation of sulfated carrageenan oligosaccharides by chemical and enzymatic processes has been widely reported, preparation of nonsulfated β-neocarrabiose (β-NC2) and the rare sugar 3,6-anhydro-d-galactose (d-AHG) was not reported in the literature. Based on the carrageenan catabolic pathway in marine heterotrophic bacteria, an enzymatic process was designed and constructed with recombinant κ-carrageenase, GH127/GH129 α-1,3 anhydrogalactosidase, and cell-free extract from marine carrageenolytic bacteria Colwellia echini A3T. The process consisted of three successive steps, namely, (i) depolymerization, (ii) desulfation, and (iii) monomerization, by which carrageenan oligosaccharides, β-NC2, and d-AHG were obtained from κ-carrageenan. Unlike the chemical process, enzymatic hydrolysis yields oligosaccharides with the desired degree of polymerization facilitates specific removal of sulfated groups, free of toxic byproducts, and avoids chemical modifications. The final optimized enzymatic process produced 0.52 g of β-NC2 and 0.24 g of d-AHG from 1 g of κ-carrageenan. The carrageenolytic process designed for the enzymatic hydrolysis of κ-carrageenan can be scaled up for the mass production of bioactive carrageeno-oligosaccharides.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (NRF-2019R1A2C1089704) and Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (IPET) (321034051HD020).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.


  • carrageenan catabolism
  • carrageeno-oligosaccharides
  • d -AHG
  • GH127
  • GH129
  • neocarrabiose
  • S1_19 family sulfatase
  • sulfated polygalactans
  • β-neocarrabiose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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