Amylose synthesized in vitro by amylosucrase: morphology, structure, and properties.


The recombinant amylosucrase from Neisseria polysaccharea was used to synthesize in vitro amylose from sucrose as unique substrate. The morphology and structure of the insoluble residue were shown to depend only on the initial sucrose concentration (100, 300, or 600 mM), which controlled both the chain length and concentration at the precipitation stage. The average degree of polymerization (DP) in the precipitated product varied from 58 for the lowest initial sucrose concentration (100 mM) to 45 and 35 for higher sucrose concentrations (300 and 600 mM, respectively). The shorter chains (DP 35 and 45), produced in high yields (54 and 24 g/L respectively), precipitated as polycrystalline aggregates with exceptional crystallinity, without optimization of the reaction medium for crystallization. The longer chains (DP 58), produced in lower amount (2.9 g/L), formed networks similar to those observed for amylose gels. All synthesized products displayed a B-type crystal structure. Their melting behavior was also studied, the thermostability being higher for the precipitate containing the longer chains. Further thermal treatments were shown to still improve the crystallinity and yield substrates usable as new standards for the determination of the relative crystallinity of starchy products. The kinetics of chain elongation and aggregation were thoroughly investigated in order to explain how the action of amylosucrase resulted in such different amylose structures. These results emphasize the potentiality of amylosucrase in the design of amylodextrins with controlled morphology, structure, and physicochemical properties.


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