Carbohydrate-active enzymes face huge substrate diversity in a highly selective manner using only a limited number of available folds. They are therefore subjected to multiple divergent and convergent evolutionary events. This and their frequent modularity render their functional annotation in genomes difficult in a number of cases. In the present paper, a classification of polysaccharide lyases (the enzymes that cleave polysaccharides using an elimination instead of a hydrolytic mechanism) is shown thoroughly for the first time. Based on the analysis of a large panel of experimentally characterized polysaccharide lyases, we examined the correlation of various enzyme properties with the three levels of the classification: fold, family and subfamily. The resulting hierarchical classification, which should help annotate relevant genes in genomic efforts, is available and constantly updated at the Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes Database (http://www.cazy.org).
A hierarchical classification of polysaccharide lyases for glycogenomics
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Vincent Lombard, Thomas Bernard, Corinne Rancurel, Harry Brumer, Pedro M. Coutinho, Bernard Henrissat; A hierarchical classification of polysaccharide lyases for glycogenomics. Biochem J 15 December 2010; 432 (3): 437–444. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BJ20101185
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