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Keywords:

  • Alginate;
  • Chondroitin sulfate;
  • Genetics;
  • Hyaluronan;
  • Chondroitin sulfate;
  • Heparin sulfate

Abstract

This review provides an overview of the properties, different biosynthetic machineries, and biotechnological production processes of four microbially derived glucuronic acid-based polysaccharides that are of interest for diverse biomedical purposes. In particular, the utilization of hyaluronic acid and heparin sulfate in high-value medical applications is already well established, whereas chondroitin sulfate and alginate show high potential within this ever-growing field. Furthermore, new strategies exploiting genetically engineered microorganisms generated through improving naturally existing pathways or de novo designed ones are described. These new developments result in increased fermentation titers, and thereby, pave the way towards feasible, or at least improved, process economy. Moreover, these strategies also allow for the future possibility of producing tailor-made biopolymers with specified characteristics, even novel molecules.