Controllable Iterative β-Glucosylation from UDP-Glucose by Bacillus cereus Glycosyltransferase GT1: Application for the Synthesis of Disaccharide-Modified Xenobiotics

Jihye Jung, Doreen Schachtschabel, Michael Speitling, Bernd Nidetzky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glycosylation in natural product metabolism and xenobiotic detoxification often leads to disaccharide-modified metabolites. The chemical synthesis of such glycosides typically separates the glycosylation steps in space and time. The option to perform the two-step glycosylation in one pot, and catalyzed by a single permissive enzyme, is interesting for a facile access to disaccharide-modified products. Here, we reveal the glycosyltransferase GT1 from Bacillus cereus (BcGT1; gene identifier: KT821092) for iterative O-β-glucosylation from uridine 5′-diphosphate (UDP)-glucose to form a β-linked disaccharide of different metabolites, including a C15 hydroxylated detoxification intermediate of the agricultural herbicide cinmethylin (15HCM). We identify thermodynamic and kinetic requirements for the selective formation of the disaccharide compared to the monosaccharide-modified 15HCM. As shown by NMR and high-resolution MS, β-cellobiosyl and β-gentiobiosyl groups are attached to the aglycone's O15 in a 2:1 ratio. Glucosylation reactions on methylumbelliferone and 4-nitrophenol involve reversible glycosyl transfer from and to UDP as well as UDP-glucose hydrolysis, both catalyzed by BcGT1. Collectively, this study delineates the iterative β-d-glucosylation of aglycones by BcGT1 and demonstrates applicability for the programmable one-pot synthesis of disaccharide-modified 15HCM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14630-14642
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021


  • disaccharide modification
  • iterative glycosylation
  • Leloir glycosyltransferases
  • sugar nucleotide
  • xenobiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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