Regioselective desulfation of sulfated l‐fucopyranoside by a new sulfoesterase from the marine mollusk Pecten maximus.
ABSTRACT The study of the structural bases of the biological properties of algal fucoidan (Ascophyllum nodosum) led us to look for enzymes able to modify this sulfated polysaccharide. In this context, we found a sulfoesterase activity in the digestive glands of the common marine mollusk Pecten maximus, which is active on fucoidan. This sulfoesterase activity was shown by capillary electrophoresis and 13C–1H NMR (500 MHz) analysis of the enzymatic hydrolysis of the fucoidan, of fucoidan oligosaccharides and of sulfated fucose isomers. We report the exhaustive list of all proton and carbon chemical shifts for each of the three isomers of sulfated-l-fucose (including of their α/β anomers), i.e. the 2-O-, 3-O- and 4-O-sulfated fucose, which have been useful reference values for the assignments of NMR spectra of fucoidan oligosaccharides upon enzymatic desulfation. Our results demonstrated a high regioselectivity for this sulfoesterase, which hydrolyzes only the sulfate group at the 2-O position of the fucopyranoside. Therefore, this sulfoesterase is a helpful tool in the structure–activity study of the fucoidan, as the literature data suggest that the 2-O-sulfation level play a central role in the biological properties of the polysaccharide.