Glycosidase is a general term for enzymes that hydrolyze glycosidic bonds. In living organisms, glycosidases are responsible for the degradation of carbohydrates and the processing of glycoproteins.

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What Are Glycosidases?

Glycosidase is a general term for enzymes that hydrolyze glycosidic bonds. Glycosidases that hydrolyze glycosidic bonds within glycans are called “endoglycosidases,” and those that hydrolyze glycosidic bonds at the ends of glycans are called “exoglycosidases.” Glycosidases are named with a prefix of “α ” or “β ” according to the α- or β-configuration of the glycosidic bond hydrolyzed. Glycosidases are important enzymes responsible not only for digestion of sugars and degradation of cell walls, but also for glycan processing and metabolic degradation. Glycosidases are involved in regulation of protein function and cell identification through the function of glycans. In addition, glycosidases serve as useful tools for the analysis of structure and function of glycans in glycoscience, because they can recognize and degrade specific glycans with specific steric structure and chemical bonds.

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