Until recently, glycosidases, naturally hydrolyzing carbohydrate-active enzymes, have found few synthetic applications in industry, being primarily used for cleaving unwanted carbohydrates. With the establishment of glycosynthase and transglycosidase technology by genetic engineering, the view of glycosidases as industrial biotechnology tools has started to change. Their easy production, affordability, robustness, and substrate versatility, added to the possibility of controlling undesired side hydrolysis by enzyme engineering, have made glycosidases competitive synthetic tools. Current promising applications of engineered glycosidases include the production of well-defined chitooligomers, precious galactooligosaccharides or specialty chemicals such as glycosylated flavonoids. Other synthetic pathways leading to human milk oligosaccharides or remodeled antibodies are on the horizon. This work provides an overview of the synthetic achievements to date for glycosidases, emphasizing the latest trends and outlining possible developments in the field.
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