Chapter 5. Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes Database: Principles and Classification of Glycosyltransferases

  1. Claus-Wilhelm von der Lieth3,
  2. Thomas Lütteke4 and
  3. Martin Frank3
  1. Pedro M. Coutinho1,
  2. Corinne Rancurel1,
  3. Mark Stam1,
  4. Thomas Bernard1,
  5. Francisco M. Couto2,
  6. Etienne G. J. Danchin1 and
  7. Bernard Henrissat1

Published Online: 13 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470029619.ch5

Bioinformatics for Glycobiology and Glycomics: An Introduction

Bioinformatics for Glycobiology and Glycomics: An Introduction

How to Cite

Coutinho, P. M., Rancurel, C., Stam, M., Bernard, T., Couto, F. M., Danchin, E. G. J. and Henrissat, B. (2009) Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes Database: Principles and Classification of Glycosyltransferases, in Bioinformatics for Glycobiology and Glycomics: An Introduction (eds C.-W. von der Lieth, T. Lütteke and M. Frank), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470029619.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Molecular Structure Analysis Core Facility, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Center), Heidelberg, Germany

  2. 4

    Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Biochemistry and Endocrinology, Justus-Liebig University Gießen, Gießen, Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques, UMR6098, CNRS, Universités d'Aix-Marseille I & II, 13402 Marseille cedex 20, France

  2. 2

    Departamento de Inform´tica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: 11 DEC 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470016671

Online ISBN: 9780470029619



  • Glycosyltransferases (GTs);
  • hydrophobic cluster analysis (HCA);
  • CAZyModO;
  • Structure Classification of Glycosyltransferases;
  • Rhodothermus marinus;
  • Pasteurella multocida


The classification of carbohydrate-active enzymes, presents a number of challenges to conciliate sequence and genome information with protein structure and reaction mechanisms. The principles of the sequence- and structure-based classification according to CAZy, combining structural and mechanistic information with bioinformatics, are described. In this chapter, we give a particular emphasis to the classification and description of glycosyltransferases relying on phospho-activated sugars. Issued from a limited number of protein folds, the corresponding diverse set of enzyme families was subdivided according to the nature of the phospho-activated sugar (mono- vs. diphospho-activated sugars; axial- vs. equatorial-linked glycosidic moieties; nature of activator) and the type of catalytic mechanism (inverting vs. retaining) to show that these features are usually strictly conserved at family level. Given the practical difficulties to determine glycosyltransferase activity, existing knowledge of the common features found at family level should be used to limit the range of activities to assess experimentally.